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After Concussion Scare and Slow Start, Okposo Has Shown Resilience

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Okposo now has five multi-point games this month, and seems to have put his concussion scare behind him.

Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

When the season began, one name started to come to mind when talking about Kyle Okposo. That one name was none other than Matt Moulson. The big concern and fear with Kyle Okposo is that he will become another Matt Moulson situation in Buffalo. While this could end up being true in the future, Okposo is certainly not ready to earn the Moulson label yet as the worst contract on the team.

Okposo now has 27 points in his last 37 games, which is a pace good enough for 50-60 points per 82 games. This is a sharp turnaround from his two-point October. It’s possible that Okposo’s slow start may have had a lot to do with the concussion issues he was dealing with towards the end of last season, which lead to him spending some time in the Neuro-Surgical ICU at Buffalo General Hospital.

Okposo talked about everything that he had been going through with his concussion issues on the Sabres website when he addressed the fans back in late July. His letter was titled “Thank you from Kyle Okposo”. If you still have not seen it, I suggest you check it out.

“The medications they gave me to sleep caused a negative reaction in my body. I still couldn’t sleep, and the weight loss continued at an alarming rate. At one point, I weighed less than 200 pounds. I haven’t weighed that little since I was 17. Now, the initial thought was a possible concussion.

Intensive care is a scary place to be, but I needed a place where I could be stabilized.My doctors felt that the Neuro Surgical ICU at Buffalo General was the best place for that to happen. I can’t thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Buffalo General enough. The people there that took care of me were exceptional. It’s impossible for me to overstate my support for them and for everything that they do”
- Kyle Okposo from his thank you letter in July 2017

After reading all that Okposo wrote, it’s absolutely no wonder he got off to such a slow start, and I also think we often underestimate how tough it can be to come back from head injuries and concussions. Okposo writing about his experiences really puts into perspective the physical, and psychological effects of these types of injuries.

With the contract that Okposo carries, along with his experience, and as one of the guys on the Sabres who should be a leader in the locker room, this is a relief to see.

Now let’s be real here, eventually, he might become a guy like Moulson with his production. But hopefully, we can continue to get productive hockey out of Okposo to the point where we don’t have to talk about selling him off to the Seattle expansion franchise in a couple years, or dumping his salary. A lot of people may wish they could undo Tim Murray’s big signing from two years ago, but at the end of the day, Okposo is here, and we need him producing.

For now, it’s a great to see Okposo producing again, and hopefully, he can continue to be a solid contributor for the Sabres because we need him, not just for this year, but down the road. This is the kind of resilience that a young hockey team needs to see, and hopefully, Okposo can stay concussion free and healthy.

You’d like to hope that Okposo’s resilience can be contagious to some players in the locker room like Sam Reinhart.


Hopefully, we can continue to get some good hockey out of Okposo.

Poll

Kyle Okposo will turn 30 in April and is signed for five more years at six million per season. How much good hockey do you think he has left?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Probably Just This Year
    (3 votes)
  • 37%
    One-Two more seasons
    (103 votes)
  • 44%
    Three-Four seasons
    (121 votes)
  • 13%
    I think He can play well through the end of his contract
    (37 votes)
  • 4%
    Not sure
    (11 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now