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NHL Trade Deadline: Florida Panthers Acquire Sabres Captain Kyle Okposo



Okposo trade
Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo skates with the puck as Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov defends during the second period on Feb. 27 in Sunrise. The two are now teammates. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Kyle Okposo will return to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2016 as the Florida Panthers acquired the now-former captain of the Buffalo Sabres just before the NHL Trade Deadline on Friday.

Okposo has been to the playoffs three times in his career — all with the Islanders, including that first-round win against Florida in 2016.

”It’s been an extremely hectic day, but at the end of the day, I’m really looking forward to joining a team who’s been phenomenal right from the drop of the puck this year,” Okposo said on ESPN on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m looking forward to trying to be a piece and they have a legitimate shot to win. Obviously, anything can happen in the postseason, but I’m just over the moon to be joining a team like Florida.”

Florida gave up a conditional 2024 seventh-round draft selection and prospect Calle Sjalin in the Okposo trade.

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“Kyle is an exceptionally respected veteran who brings leadership and a competitive edge to our team, and we are thrilled to be able to add him to our group,” GM Bill Zito said in a statement.

Okposo, 35, has 22 points (12 goals) in 61 games with the Sabres this season.

He has been Buffalo’s captain since last year.

The 6-foot, 216-pound forward has skated in 1,045 NHL games between the Islanders (2007-16) and Sabres.

He has 242 goals and 614 points in those games.

Okposo was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

“I love how they play,” Okposo said of the Panthers. “They play nasty, in your face, you kind of know what they’re getting from them. You’re getting a hard game.”



  • When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • This Season (Flames Lead 1-0) — At Calgary: Flames 3, Panthers 1 (Dec. 18). At Florida: Saturday.
  • Last Season: Calgary Won 2-0
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Calgary leads 25-11-3, 3 ties


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