There was no mourning period for the Buffalo Sabres over losing Steven Stamkos. They promptly signed the next-best player on the market
Buffalo reportedly has agreed to a seven-year, $42 million contract with Kyle Okposo. The former New York Islanders forward will join Sam Reinhart as right wingers on the top two lines.
"I think they have a chance to win a Cup," Okposo said Friday on TSN. "That's the ultimate goal. That's why we play the game. They have a really good of group of young players that are only going to get better.
"They're a great organization obviously with the Pegulas at the helm. Everybody always talks so highly of them."
Okposo recorded 22 goals and 64 points in 79 games last season. During the past three years, his average of .88 points per game was second among potential free agents to only Stamkos' .90.
Kyle Okposo’s game has blossomed during last three seasons with 67 goals, 117 assists and 184 points in 201 games. https://t.co/wox2sTCxXK
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) June 28, 2016
The 28-year-old Okposo has 139 goals and 369 points in 529 NHL games, all with the Isles. They drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in 2006.
"Buffalo, I was looking at them a lot early," Okposo said. "They were definitely one of the teams I was extremely interested in. I'm just happy that it got done with the Sabres."
Okoposo will line up on the right side of either Ryan O'Reilly or Jack Eichel.
"It's kind of whoever has chemistry," Okposo said. "Those two guys are tremendous players. I thought Ryan O'Reilly was one of the hardest players I've played against all year. He's such a smart player.
"Obviously, Jack is going to continue to grow and become a superstar. I'm excited about the prospect of playing with both those guys."