The Buffalo Sabres will have their captain back on the ice in 2023-24. Today, the team announced a one-year extension for Kyle Okposo worth $2.5MM.
2023-24 will mark Okposo’s 17th season in the NHL and his eighth in Buffalo. The 35-year-old right wing was coming off a seven-year, $42MM contract signed with the Sabres in 2016.
Named Buffalo’s captain ahead of the 2022-23 season, Okposo maintained his effectiveness in a bottom-six role, registering 11 goals and 28 points in 75 games. While injuries and inconsistencies have plagued Okposo’s tenure in Buffalo, he’s emerged as an invaluable leader among a young team on the rise. He’ll get to stay the course and aim to guide Buffalo to their first playoff appearance since 2011.
Save for a long-term absence, Okposo will play in his 1,000th NHL game next season. The Minnesota product is currently sitting at 984 NHL games, in which he’s recorded a total of 230 goals and 592 points.
Since Okposo is aged 35 or older, he’s eligible for a contract that includes performance bonuses. Per CapFriendly, Okposo will receive a $500,000 bonus if Buffalo wins the Stanley Cup in 2024.
Okposo still provides solid two-way metrics and is far from being a liability on the ice, so his leadership isn’t the only thing motivating the extension. He’ll likely play a more limited role on the team next season, however, given the emergence of their younger core and potential free-agent acquisitions.
After the extension, Buffalo still has roughly $17MM in projected cap space for 2023-24, as listed by CapFriendly.
Waist of money and it takes up a roster spot, Okposo,Girgensons, And Hinostroza should all be gone. Save money and use those roster spots for younger guys.
The Sabres do not need more younger players. With 41 y.o. Anderson and Okposo they were the youngest team in the league.
The team needs to be smart and have a few vet. players around to tutor the youth. And few players in the NHL deserve the C more than Kyle.
The more I read this, the more it becomes obvious that this commentator has absolutely no awareness of the state of the Sabres. They have – by far – the most free space to fill out their roster. Money is not the problem, and this is a one year contract.
Sure, fine. But let’s get a RHD and a veteran goalie in the offseason. Anyone have any suggestions?
Adin Hill, korpisalo are UFA.
Kings are about to have a surplus of RHD.
Does he get that bonus if he gets traded to a team that goes on to win the cup or does it specifically have to be Buffalo?
As far as I can tell, he would still get the bonus, yes.
I say that because the published verbiage on the bonus, at least on CapFriendly, is just “$500,000 bonus for winning the Stanley Cup.” I would assume it would specify Buffalo if the bonus didn’t carry over via trade.
It’s something a team acquiring him would need to consider, as they’d need to able to fit the additional $500,000 under their season-ending cap hit to avoid a penalty the following season.
For another season he adds needed experience.
Might be a little bit of an overpay for what Okposo can bring, but not all that much, and Buffalo has it to spend.
This team needs veteran leadership that has won, not a guy who doesn’t know how to win at this level.