Blog Entry

Jokinen catches a break

Posted on: March 4, 2009 2:04 pm

Seems like every time I've heard Olli Jokinen mentioned on television this season by hockey's chattering class, he's being trashed. I find that odd because Jokinen was here in Florida for seven seasons with the Panthers and was their best player for most of them.

It didn't prevent Jokinen from being traded to Phoenix at the draft last June, or again today to the Calgary Flames for Matthew Lombardi, prospect Brandon Prust and a first round pick. Good deal for the Coyotes because it cut the costs for the financially challenged team and brought them assets with upside, great deal for the Flames getting a very good offensive player who they've been after for the last couple of seasons.

Jokinen's career took off after Mike Keenan got to Florida, and the big center became a perennial 30 goal, 70 point guy and eventually captain. His personality wasn't really suited for the "C", but he rarely left anything on the ice, especially during those brief times when Florida was still alive in playoff races. But once the decision was made to move him, it was accompanied by whispers about his leadership abilities, and the noise has gotten louder this season.

Jokinen hasn't had a particulalry good season with the rebuilding Coyotes, although his 21 goals have him on his traditional scoring pace. Still the talking heads have frequently described him as a poor teammate and blamed him for never lifting a team to the playoffs. They've just overlooked the losers he has played on through his 10 seasons.

Now Jokinen gets a real shot at silencing those critics. It should have happened when he was a big time player during the 2006 Olympics for Finland, but it will come on an NHL stage where Jokinen is reunited with Keenan in a real hockey market for the first time in his career and surrounded with good players who can win.

Calgary is running away with the Northwest Division and has been one of the West's best teams for three months. Jarome Iginla is on fire again, Miikka Kiprusoff is playing Vezina quality goal, and a tough, physical defense was deepened earlier today with the addition of puck mover Jordan Leopold. The Flames have the elements and come out of the conference, and Jokinen gets a chance to go along for the ride.

Look for him to make the most of it.

Category: NHL

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2009 12:52 pm

Jokinen catches a break

Jokinen is a great player who has always been dogged by even greater expectations. He showed up in LA as a 6'3" 215 lb 19 year old who was supposed to score 100 points. LA gave him a couple years before he was shipped off to the Islanders where he played 82 games and got 21 points. That mecca of talent evaluation immediately shipped him off to florida where he spent two more seasons not scoring.Florida however gave him a chance and the third year ,at the  ripe old age of 24 Jokinen scored 36 goals and got 65 points. Jokinen's problem apparently has been he's not a quick study.He is being dealt by Phoenix because he has a big contract and because Phoenix expected him to have  a better year on their team and he is having a worse year. Once he gets a stable environment he's comfortable in he does quite well.  He had five years in Florida when he always played and almost always scored 30 goals and 70 points. He was consistently good on bad teams with little in the way of support. He played for Finland at the Turin Olympics and lead them to a silver medal. He had a  point a game in that tournament and showed as  a better more complete player then canadian superstar Joe Thornton. The Finns shut-out the canadians 2-0 in that tournament. Jokinen is a big bodied playmaking center who can score and who never gets hurt. After he played 82 games for the islanders Jokinen averaged 81.125 games a season for the next 8 years. He's going to play for a team for the first time in his NHL career that has more talented players then him on it. He should do great. He has in the past had trouble adapting to new situations but I think he'll pick it up with the flames and might even help them into the Stanley Cup finals.  Jokinen is a heck of player and deserves praise for what he's accomplished.  

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2009 5:43 am

Jokinen catches a break

This is great news for the flames! They have shown they can play with the Sharks. The Sharks and Wings really have something to worry about now.


Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2009 4:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 9, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2009 3:58 pm

Jokinen catches a break

bad news for the Northwest Division

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2009 3:51 pm

Jokinen catches a break


Watch out! The Flames are 4 REAL!! This could be their year they have a SQUAD!!!

Since: Aug 14, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2009 3:40 pm

Jokinen catches a break

Flames did real good here.  Jokinnen will bolster an already strong offense and power play and the acquisition of Jordan Leopold only further solidifies these claims.  Look out western conference the Flames are HOT!!! Not to mention, the Coyotes did pretty good here too.  Theses younger players have played very well for the Flames and by clearing up the cap space and staying younger, the
 Yotes will be making noise soon!

Since: Dec 14, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2009 3:39 pm

Jokinen catches a break

I love this, going into the trade dead line i did not think they would be doing much, so getting Oli is sweet i can't believe we only had to give up Lombo and Prust to get Oli and Leopold. The picks don't really matter are drafting in the past few years has been strong enough that we can skip what i think if you not the 10 worst teams in the leauge is a weak draft year.

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2009 3:10 pm

Jokinen catches a break

this is big for olli and the flames....the new iggy and olli show

Since: Feb 10, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2009 2:57 pm

Huge Move!!

The biggest move all season. Rolli Polli Olli Jokinen is a great playoff type of player, even though he hasnt been there( at least recently). I mean his style of play is very strong. Also giving him the chance to center Iginla and Camilliari could pose for huge mismatches on the opposing D. Calgary is definetly going to be a threat out of the west now. 

The top spot in the western conference will be much more desired now that Calgary actually has a descent center. Neither the Wings or Sharks want to play them second round. Anywayz im very impressed with the trade even though im a huge Red Wings fan this trade scares me.

Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2009 2:23 pm

Jokinen catches a break

This move has been a couple years in the making and it make sense. The Flames are in need of another strong centre and Jokinen  played his best hockey under the direction of current Flames coach, Mike Keenan. Sure, Phoenix acquires a good, fast young player in Lombardi but in todays market you have to give up something to get something. A good move for both teams.

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