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Kyle Okposo: Return of the Winger


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#1 SkuggaLiger

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:06 AM

http://www.buffaloho...kposo-expected/ by Bill Hoppe

"It was a tough start, a really tough start mentally for me (Okposo) mentally and physically just coming back from last year.

 

Some think we should ditch Okposo. Some think not. I wonder how much his injury last impacted his return this year. Each game he seems to be more and more what I wanted out of him post free agency.  We need a player who is physically able to dominate in the corners, can shoot, can pass, and for the most part can compliment Eichel. I think healthy Okposo has been doing that in a way that Evander Kane didn't.  


Edited by SkuggaLiger, 18 January 2018 - 11:07 AM.


#2 Sabel79

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:14 AM

I will Stan for KO all day long. After his summer, it's really nice to see him getting back to his best. 100% keep.

#3 mörksabre

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:19 AM

I'm worried about his age given the length of the contract. He's 29. He could bounce back next season, but how many more years do we really think he has left being a 50pt guy? 2? Maybe 3? 

We could be looking at Moulson 2.0 here. 

I trade him for the right price given the contract length, no knock against him otherwise. 



#4 That Aud Smell

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:25 AM

^

 

Agreed.

 

Cripes. The term of that deal already looks brutal.

 

I am encouraged to hear (and see) that he's rounding back into form.



#5 Brawndo

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:29 AM

Remember with his injury history he can be sent to Robidas Island if needed.

#6 Mick O’Manly

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:36 AM

I like Kyle more than just about any Sabre right now. He’s showed a lot of character battling back the way he has.
He’s not a great finisher, but he’ll give you 20. He’s very strong on the puck, has good vision, battles hard and is a leader.

I appreciate the Moulson concerns long-term.
But right now, Kyle is giving us exactly what we paid for.

#7 Anordning

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:44 AM

I believe I pegged KO as Captain material before the 4 As were announced.  Maybe early in the season he was still working his way back from last season's injury/hospitalization, but at this point I wouldn't mind seeing the C on his jersey, especially with his play over the last few dozen games.


Edited by Anordning, 18 January 2018 - 11:44 AM.


#8 That Aud Smell

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:56 AM

Okposo ~ chicken finger sub?



#9 LTS

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:00 PM

I'm a fan of Okposo.  I would like to get more out of him and I am sure he'd like that as well.  If this team weren't so crappy at scoring I am sure we would see more out of him.  He's not going to generate a ton of offense but I think he can help offense if there's enough around him.



#10 skogslopp

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:35 PM

IIRC Kyle's contract for the final year or two had his salary much lower than his cap hit. So he is very trade worthy at the end to teams that want to be at the cap floor at the lowest possible cost. 

 

Tank teams.



#11 SkuggaLiger

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:38 PM

IIRC Kyle's contract for the final year or two had his salary much lower than his cap hit. So he is very trade worthy at the end to teams that want to be at the cap floor at the lowest possible cost. 

 

Tank teams.

His last 2 years are at 4mil in salary. The next 3 years are at 6mil in salary. this year is at 8mil



#12 skogslopp

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:52 PM

His last 2 years are at 4mil in salary. The next 3 years are at 6mil in salary. this year is at 8mil

 

Yes, but his cap hit is 6 million. Will 4 mill per year actual payout  look bad come 2021 thru 23 compared to other salaries for teams ? I'm not sold that it's a horrendous contract and that he will be as out of step as much as Matt is in today's game. 



#13 SkuggaLiger

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:57 PM

I was just giving out the numbers. Really depends on the salary cap in 2021


Also keep in mind that there is a "sports bubble". This is the bubble that allows caps in the major sports to keep climbing. At some point that bubble will pop. 



#14 blåbär

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:58 PM

I like him, love seeing him bounce back, but he is really slow though.



#15 SkuggaLiger

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 01:00 PM

I like him, love seeing him bounce back, but he is really slow though.

He really isn't that slow. Jack Eichel is just that fast. 



#16 MattiPaj

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 03:55 PM

I was just giving out the numbers. Really depends on the salary cap in 2021


Also keep in mind that there is a "sports bubble". This is the bubble that allows caps in the major sports to keep climbing. At some point that bubble will pop. 

 

I don't when that'll happen, but I know it'll be the Millennials' fault.



#17 Fransk Kollektion

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:31 PM

I don't believe he will be Moulson 2.0 because even if he loses a step he can still win a puck battle. He is way more physical and stronger on the puck.

I do think the term is too long, and he will have to be spotted in and out of the lineup near the end of that contract.

Moulson just did not have any compete left in him.

#18 Kottbullar

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 01:12 AM

I don't when that'll happen, but I know it'll be the Millennials' fault.

And don't you forget it...  don't worry Gen Xers won't let you :P



#19 MattiPaj

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 06:59 PM

And don't you forget it...  don't worry Gen Xers won't let you :P

 

I'm actually GenX, but I identify more with Millenials



#20 nfreeman

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 07:15 PM

I agree that KO's play has been much better for the last 4-6 weeks, and am no longer concerned that he's already reached Moulson-level ineptitude -- which seemed to be the case for the first couple of months of the season.

 

He brings a lot to the table, with a good all-around offensive game, and is a capable, if overpaid, top-6 winger.

 

However, he does have limitations.  He's probably the 2nd-slowest forward on the team after Reino, he wins puck battles but doesn't hit much or intimidate, he's nothing special in the defensive zone, and I'm not inclined to give any Sabre credit for leadership given the train wreck we've seen this year.

 

I'd probably rather have the cap space than have him and his contract on the Sabres, but no one is going to take that contract, so we need to get used to him being here long-term.  Again, though, it could be a lot worse.  I'd expect him to continue to produce at his current level for most of the remainder of his contract.



#21 Anordning

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:42 AM

I don't believe he will be Moulson 2.0 because even if he loses a step he can still win a puck battle. He is way more physical and stronger on the puck.

I do think the term is too long, and he will have to be spotted in and out of the lineup near the end of that contract.

Moulson just did not have any compete left in him.

 

Of course by 2022 $6M per year will be like a $2M cap hit today...



#22 GASabresIUFAN

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:14 PM

Fyi folks: KO has 9 pts in his last 9 games and 25 pts in his last 36 games. That’s a 57 pt pace, which is right on his recent career numbers. Take away the 1st nine games and his is mostly giving us what we are paying for.

#23 skogslopp

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 07:52 PM

Of course by 2022 $6M per year will be like a $2M cap hit today...

 

I wasn't going that far. It might be more than what he is worth, but not outrageously more. Or, he could be putting up the same numbers he is today and some team will find him to be a great bargain compared to the salary increases for the same type player because of the increasing cap and we get a great trade.



#24 matter2003

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:37 AM

Return of the Mack?



#25 LTS

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:46 AM

I had no issues with Okposo and I still don't.  He's looking like a great fit with Eichel.  They seem to work off each other really well in pressuring the puck and the passing is generally there as well.



#26 That Aud Smell

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:58 AM

The contract is still a bit worrisome, but KO is basically back to being a good top-6 forward.

 

So, hooray for that.



#27 Brawndo

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 03:53 PM

Why the hell did it take so long to put Okposo on Jack’s Wing?

#28 Sabersfläkt i NS

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 03:58 PM

Why the hell did it take so long to put Okposo on Jack’s Wing?

 

They were trying many combinations and it has taken this long for KO to get completely healthy.



#29 Brawndo

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 04:01 PM

They were trying many combinations and it has taken this long for KO to get completely healthy.


Even last year, DD did not play them together that much

#30 Randall Flagg

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 04:45 PM

Probably for stylistic reasons, KO-ROR were basically stapled together through two different coaching regimes, one that refused to watch tape from the other. So it must make some sense. I didn't hate them together, though was never blown out of the water by the chemistry I saw or anything. 

 

Jack&Sam was the duo last year, and Kane-Jack-Pommers was the default line whenever things were uncomfortable for a while this season.



#31 Anordning

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 05:30 PM

I had no issues with Okposo and I still don't.  He's looking like a great fit with Eichel.  They seem to work off each other really well in pressuring the puck and the passing is generally there as well.

 

That line looks superb, and not just because KO is scoring with Jack.  I watched yesterday and with KO and Girgs on his wings, it seems like Jack is feeling less pressure to try to carry the puck all the time and do it all himself.  I see him passing off and getting into a scoring position, as opposed to passing off and waiting for the puck to get passed back to him right away.  It's like he trusts his linemates to find him, which doesn't fit Jack's usual MO of doing it all himself.  All three linemates are activating and pulling their share of the load and the line just works.

 

We've got chemistry here.