Kyle Okposo wants to remain with the Islanders, but he hasn’t personally called general manager Garth Snow to plead his case.
There is the chance that the Islanders’ seven-game road trip, which continues Tuesday night against the Wild in Minnesota, could be Okposo’s last with the team. The NHL trade deadline is Monday.
Okposo can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and there have been no reports of negotiations aimed at keeping him with the Islanders. Although Okposo says he wants to stay, he has not followed the lead of another hometown athlete, Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, who called GM Sandy Alderson and asked not to be traded when his name was linked to two deals.
“Hey, good for him,’’ Okposo said of Wheeler. “I understand that it’s a business, there’s business decisions to be made. I’m not naive to that. I’m just focused on playing hockey. Those things will work themselves out when they’re meant to. My main focus is going to be on playing hockey.’’
The 27-year-old Okposo, who has 45 points, two behind team leader John Tavares, started his NHL career with the Islanders in the 2007-08 season.
Okposo’s family and friends are wondering about his future.
“Yeah,’’ he said, “I don’t know about concerns, just maybe wanting to know what’s going on. I just tell them pretty much the same answer that I give to you guys. I’m playing for the Islanders. Once that [trade deadline] passes, there’ll probably be a lot of questions answered, and whatever happens is going to happen. I hope I’m here and I hope I’m trying to help this team win a Stanley Cup.
“They’re going to make those decisions at an appropriate time. I never want that to be a distraction among the group. I’m just trying to keep a level head on my shoulders, go out there and play my game.’’
Asked if he thinks the Islanders will look to make deals, Okposo said, “We have a really good team, a really solid group. Would it be good to add a few pieces? Maybe, but if we don’t, I think everybody is confident in this room that we can get the job done.’’
Snow rarely discusses club business, and when coach Jack Capuano was asked Monday if he is ready to go forward with the current roster, he said, “That would be a question for a general manager. I haven’t really talked to him too much about it. My elevator doesn’t go to that floor.’’