Kyle Okposo out for the season with broken cheek bone
Kyle Okposo was struck in the face with a puck, resulting in the injury. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a tough season for the Sabres, particularly veteran winger Kyle Okposo.  His season has now come to a premature end with Buffalo announcing that Okposo has undergone surgery to repair a broken bone in his cheek and will miss the remainder of the season as a result.  The injury was suffered on Thursday after a dump-in attempt hit him in the cheek.

The 33-year-old has steadily seen his offensive output drop since joining Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent back in 2016, a trend that continued this season.  Okposo posted just two goals and 11 assists in 35 games, career lows in any of his 13 full-time NHL seasons, which is hardly the type of return the Sabres were expecting for someone carrying a $6M AAV.  That deal still has two years remaining on it and a front-loaded, signing bonus-heavy structure that makes buying it out cap-prohibitive.

Even so, it’s an avenue that GM Kevyn Adams may be wise to consider this summer.  Per CapFriendly, it would yield a $5M cap charge in 2021-22, which frees up only $1M on the cap, but it’s possible that those savings could still allow them to bring in a better player for next season.  From there, the penalty wouldn’t be as steep with a $3M charge in 2022-23 before dropping to $1M for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

Meanwhile, Steven Fogarty was recalled from the taxi squad to take Okposo’s spot on the active roster.  The 27-year-old is in his first season with Buffalo and has a goal and two assists in eight games so far.  In a corresponding move, goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was promoted to the taxi squad.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.