Okposo in contract year, but ‘not talking contracts’


Kyle Okposo knows the deal, but he doesn’t want to discuss it.

“I’m not talking contracts,” the Isles’ pending UFA told the New York Post on Thursday. “That’s not going to be a distraction this year. I’m not even thinking about it.”

Okposo, 27, is in a fairly unique position. He’s coming off two solid scoring seasons, where he’s come close to being a point-per-game guy, and his current deal — a five-year, $14 million contract with a $2.8M cap hit — is a bargain.

It also makes him attractive on the trade market.

The trade market has to be mentioned in relation to Okposo, who has seen his name bandied about over the last year. This past week, those rumors flared up again when Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested Isles GM Garth Snow wasn’t done dealing away forwards after flipping Michael Grabner to the Leafs.

The big question with Okposo seems to be, can the Isles afford to keep him and, if not, can they recoup some assets before he walks in free agency? Okposo will want (and deserves) a significant raise, but Snow has other decisions to make at the end of this year with the likes of Ryan Strome, Frans Nielsen, Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin all needing new contracts.

Snow also needs to keep an eye on the future — following the 2017-18 campaign, captain John Tavares will require an extension.