For the first time in his career, Kyle Okposo could hit the open market on July 1.
The Islanders still have time to work out a deal with their winger, but as of right now, they’re not even close. On Tuesday morning, Okposo confirmed that the two sides have yet to begin negotiating.
If he does hit free agency, Okposo could be the no. 2 free agent forward on many team’s boards (behind Stamkos). The 28-year-old scored 22 goals and 64 points in 79 games during the regular season. He added two goals and eight points in the playoffs. The fact that he’s on the right side of 30 will also be beneficial to his contract demands.
Okposo’s scored at least 18 goals in all but one of his full seasons with the Islanders. The only season he didn’t hit that mark was during the lockout-shortened year (he scored four goals in 48 games).
The winger is coming off a cap friendly five-year, $14 million contract. The way the market is shaping up this off-season, he’ll likely be able to command a long-term deal of five years or more with an annual cap hit well-above the $2.8 million he signed for last time.
Islanders GM Garth Snow has a lot of work to do before July 1st. With the cap likely staying the same, not only does he have Okposo’s contract status to worry about, but he also has to work out new deals with other unrestricted free agents like Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin. All three players will likely be getting healthy raises going forward. Martin made $1 million last season, while Nielsen had a cap hit of $2.75 million.