Ready To Go

Okposo took part in informal skate with teammates on Tuesday

Tuesday, 01.8.2013 / 4:46 PM ET / News
By Travis Betts
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Ready To Go
Okposo took part in informal skate with teammates on Tuesday
Okposo finished the 2011-12 regular season with nine goals in his last nine games (Photo: Getty Images)

Kyle Okposo is finally where he wants to be.

With uncertainty surrounding the start of the 2012-13 regular season, the five-year veteran stayed close to home in St. Paul, MN during the work stoppage, working out regularly at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. The whole time, he remained optimistic and ready to return to Long Island for the start of Islanders Training Camp.

“It’s been a long four months,” Okposo said. “I’ve been skating a lot – usually four times a week. I’ve been working out 3-4 times a week too. We didn’t know everything that was going on, so we couldn’t judge when to go hard, when to take it down a notch, but we just tried to stay ready.”

Joining him for skates and workout sessions were several members of the Minnesota Wild, as well as several other NHLers, including Alex Goligoski, Dustin Byfuglien, James Van Riemsdyk and Colin Wilson. The group usually consisted of 20-30 NHL players. When they couldn’t work out at the school, they rented ice at one of the local rinks.

Okposo said the group went through some tough workouts, but that the more difficult challenge was not knowing when they would be able to return to work.

“That was the toughest thing,” Okposo said. “Your hopes would get up and then would get crushed, and it was just a vicious cycle, up and down. After December, I just tried to stay level and tried not to obsess over it. But it was tough not to look and see what was going on. You just had to try and keep somewhat of a routine.”

The 24-year-old said there was one silver lining to having time away from the rigorous schedule to which NHL players are accustomed.

“I took advantage of the opportunity to have fun with family and friends,” Okposo said. “It’s been nice to spend some time at home. I had a couple of holidays there, which hasn’t happened in a long time. That part of it was different, but it was nice. That being said, I was itching to get back and get playing.”

Okposo had the itch to rejoin his Islanders teammates on the ice so badly, that when he heard the news on Sunday that an agreement had been reached between the NHL and the Players Association, he wasted no time getting to New York. He joined a growing group of Islanders players trickling back to Long Island on Tuesday for an informal skate at Iceworks in preparation for Training Camp

“I got the news, packed my bag and hopped on a plane. My wife is driving the car out later this week.”

He arrived at Iceworks in time to watch the end of Monday’s informal skate. He was the first on the ice Tuesday, ahead of Matt Moulson, Matt Martin, Eric Boulton, Matt Carkner, Marty Reasoner, Rick DiPietro and free agent Radek Martinek. Andrew MacDonald and Frans Nielsen also arrived on Long Island Tuesday and are expected to join in Wednesday’s skate.

The group will continue informal practices to prepare for Training Camp, which is expected to start in the next week.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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