Boston Bruins Free Agency 2016: Kyle Okposo


Boston Bruins Free Agency 2016: Kyle Okposo Could Fill A Significant Need at Right Wing

The Boston Bruins just saved themselves some money with the buy-out of Dennis Seidenberg on Thursday. The implications will affect the team in the short-term, and the long-term. Most importantly, however, the transaction will give the Bruins some extra wiggle room during free agency frenzy to make offers to some of the top options available.

The Bruins made it clear that they are making a conscious effort to get bigger, and more physical on the right wing. Last season, the team signed Matt Beleskey who, while not overly large, played a very Bruins-style game and was effective for the team on a relatively team-friendly deal that will pay him $3.8 million over the next four seasons. If the Bruins want to sign a similar player with more offensive-output to his name, Kyle Okposo could be the way to go.

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The 6-foot, 217 pound winger is a player who can provide offense, physicality, and positive possession numbers each season. In the last three seasons, Okposo has compiled 67 goals and 117 assists for 184 points in 210 games. At 28 years old, Okposo still has a lot left in the tank, and would be the perfect addition to the Bruins lineup alongside either Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci.

The former 7th overall draft pick does come with some concern, however. Okposo has never played a full 82 game season — he did play in all 48 games during the lock-out shortened season, however — and a more recent eye-injury involving a detached retina could scare off some potential suitors.  If the injury concern isn’t enough to scare off the Bruins, the potential cap-hit that would come with Okposo could do the trick.

"Okposo’s situation boils down to simply numbers. From all accounts, Okposo seems to have a high figure (some have said as high as an $8 million AAV) in mind for his next deal, and the Islanders just can’t seem to justify that number. Kyle’s a very talented player, and I know he’s one of John Tavares‘ favorites. I just think it comes down to whether Garth thinks he needs a serious upgrade to make a big run at the Cup. – Brian Erni of SNY"

Paying out $8 million per season to a player with injury concerns who is already 28 years old doesn’t seem like the smartest move the Bruins could make. If the asking price falls somewhere within the $5.5 million to $6.5 million range, however, the Bruins should at least inquire about Okposo’s services.

The Bruins have cap space this season with an estimate $24.48 million available to them. With that being said, there is still the issue of signing some of their own free agents, such as Loui Eriksson, Torey Krug, Lee Stempniak, John-Michael Liles, Joe Morrow, and Colin Miller. The right wing is a significant area of need for Boston, however, with only David Pastrnak, Jimmy Hayes, Seth Griffith, Justin Hickman, and Zachary Senyshyn under contract for the 2016-17 season.

Next: Boston Bruins Free Agency Options: Thomas Vanek

The asking price for Okposo might be too high for the Bruins, but it would be irresponsible to not at least inquire. There will be a lot of options for Boston when free agency opens, and Kyle Okposo should be near the top of their list for potential signings to help bolster their team at forward.