Did you hear? Steven Stamkos is the “big fish” — the most coveted free agent this year, should he go to the open market on Friday.
That said, another scoring forward that is reportedly garnering plenty of attention, as teams are now allowed to talk to pending unrestricted free agents, is Kyle Okposo, the 28-year-old right winger who has scored at least 20 goals in three of the last five seasons.
In the final year of his five-year contract worth $14 million, Okposo scored 22 goals and 64 points this past season for the Islanders. It’s been no secret of late that the Islanders aren’t expected to re-sign Okposo, who is due for a substantial raise in free agency.
The Sabres and Panthers would certainly make for interesting destinations for Okposo.
The Sabres are also one of the teams interested in Stamkos, while the Panthers have already made a big move prior to the draft by acquiring the rights to defenseman Keith Yandle and then signing the pending UFA to a seven-year deal, a move he described as such: “You feel like it’s an all-in organization.”
Both teams also have plenty of cap space heading into the week. The Panthers have more than $18 million in cap space, while the Sabres have more than $19.5 million in space, according to General Fanager.