Isles Hockey: What’s Going to Happen to Kyle Okposo?
With this year’s controversial season behind us, it’s hard to ignore the presence of Kyle Okposo.
Putting up numbers like he never has before, Kyle quickly won the hearts of any Islanders fan that had previously doubted his abilities. The blasphemous Olympic snub also led fans to support Kyle, especially after his overtime winner against the Chicago Blackhawks in his first game after the Olympic roster was announced.
Kyle signed with the Islanders in 2007 but his contract only has two more seasons left on it- so, what’s going to happen to Kyle Okposo?
As a (female) fan, I would love to sit here and say, “Keep Kyle forever!! I love him so much!” But is this what’s best for the future of the Islanders? I think a large portion of that decision is going to come from how these next two seasons pan out.
If the Islanders do well enough to make the playoffs and Kyle continues to improve at a similar rate to the team’s rate of success, I think it would be best to keep him and offer him a contract with a few more years to play for the Islanders. Kyle is a big part of the team’s heart and the team’s core, so if he improves as they improve, it only makes sense for him to extend his legacy and remain with the Islanders.
If the Islanders do make the playoffs but Kyle plateaus in terms of performance, meaning that the team is improving but he is not, I think it’s important to trade him at the end of this contract. He would be a valuable trade piece regardless of the team’s success, due to his hot streak this season and impressive stats over the next two as well, even if he does level off. This way, the Islanders would (hopefully) be able to acquire a valuable player in said trade, further adding to their playoff-bound success.
If the Islanders don’t make the playoffs but Kyle continues to deliver at a superstar level as he did this past season, it will be very important to analyze what the team’s problem was in terms of why they missed the playoffs; because if goaltending or defense was the issue, Kyle would make a very profitable trade piece to gain something that the team is missing in a high-level player for the next season. However, if neither of those two areas were the issue, then resigning Kyle would be very smart for the team to do. He would then, alongside John Tavares, be able continue pushing the Islanders to an offensive level that would eventually land them back in the playoffs.
Who knows how the next two seasons will end up going, but it’s important to consider all scenarios that could take place at the end of Kyle Okposos’s contact in 2016. No matter what happens, hopefully there will be someone in place that has the best interest of the future of the team in mind, and Kyle will end up where Kyle is meant to end up.
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