Arthur Staple of Newsday dropped a bit of a bomb last night when he reported that Islanders star forward Kyle Okposo could be available in trade discussions with the draft coming next weekend and the Islanders lacking picks in the first two rounds. Okposo, of course, has become a fan favorite over the last few seasons, so this news came as a shock to many.
While most fans don’t want to think about it, if the Islanders did decide to trade Okposo, what should they expect to get in return for him?
Why Trade Okposo?
This was probably the first thing most thought of when they heard this story. Why in the world would the Islanders trade Kyle Okposo? This is where the business side of the game that everyone hates comes into play.
Okposo is going to into the final year of his contract and is going to be due a sizable raise. With the Islanders having recently handed out big contracts to Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy and with young players like Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson ready to get new contracts, can they afford an even bigger contract for Okposo? While I think Okposo should be paid for his loyalty, that has to be within reason because it would be inappropriate for the team to hamper themselves down the road to keep him.
What is Okposo Worth?
With this story, fans began to think about what Okposo would be worth on the trade market. People will undoubtedly make comparisons to Chicago’s Patrick Sharp, who is also reportedly available and could be traded this week. It has been speculated that Chicago is looking for a first round pick, a top 6 forward, and a top young forward in exchange for Sharp. If this is the case, then that should be the starting point for the Islanders in talks for Okposo, in my mind at least. While Okposo doesn’t have term on his contract like Sharp does, Okposo is 7 years younger and carries half the cap hit that Sharp does this season. If the Islanders are able to get a package resembling that, it could take some of the sting out from losing Okposo that will undoubtedly be felt by many fans.
What Will Happen?
Ultimately, I don’t expect to see Okposo traded this week, or at all for that matter. After some negotiating, I expect Okposo to be resigned by the Islanders to a contract that is fair to both sides. During his tenure, one thing Garth Snow has always been good at is rewarding the home-grown talent with contract extensions. While this is the most high-profile one he has had to deal with, I don’t expect anything to be different in this situation then he has faced in others. While I expect Okposo to be resigned, I don’t think it is a bad thing for the team to see what he is worth on the trade market.