From The Ice

No contract talks between Okposo and Islanders all year

Pending unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo has told reporters that there have been no talks between the New York Islanders and his agent in respect of a new contract all year.

Drafted seventh overall by the franchise in 2006, Okposo has registered 139 goals and 369 points in 529 NHL career games to date, reaching the 20 goal plateau for the third time this season.

The 28-year-old added a further seven goals and 15 points in 24 playoff games for the Islanders, bearing the brunt of some lean years with the club before its more recent revival.

Some reports have previously suggested the winger wants as much as $7 million per season under any new deal, which would instantly make him the Islanders highest paid player, surpassing defenseman Johnny Boychuck  ($6 million per year until 2022) and, perhaps crucially, franchise captain John Tavares ($5.5 million per year until 2018).

Such figures have split the Islanders fan base opinion of whether to retain the powerful winger, but the lack of talks between general manager Garth Snow and Okposo’s representatives remains surprising none the less.

Snow is facing some tough decisions this summer, with Frans Nielsen and popular depth forward Matt Martin also in line to become unrestricted free agents on July 1st while Ryan Strome heads up a group of nine pending restricted free agents within the organisation.

Okposo is arguably the second most coveted pending UFA forward behind Steven Stamkos this summer, and as such is likely to be in high demand should he hit the open market in July.

The potential for the St. Paul native to score a bumper pay day as a free agent is now likely to present a significant road block to any negotiations with the Islanders, with an increasing number of fans seemingly resigned to losing Okposo during the offseason.

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