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Jussi Jokinen traded to Penguins

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Jussi Jokinen is on his way to Pittsburgh. (USATSI)
Jussi Jokinen is on his way to Pittsburgh (Getty Images)

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Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero had at least one more trade to make before Wednesday's deadline passed.

The Penguins acquired center Jussi Jokinen from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday in exchange for a conditional draft pick. As part of the deal, the Hurricanes will be taking on some of Jokinen's salary. He's signed through the end of next season at a cap hit of $3 million per year.

Jokinen was just on waivers a week ago and went unclaimed. So why didn't the Penguins just simply pick him up then and not have to give up anything in return if they were interested? Well, a couple of reasons. For one, the Hurricanes are taking on some of the salary, which makes that cap hit for next season a little easier to swallow. There's also the fact that when Jokinen was on waivers, the Penguins hadn't yet lost Sidney Crosby to a broken jaw, forcing them to use Tyler Kennedy as the center on their top line on Tuesday night against Buffalo.

In 33 games this season, Jokinen has six goals to go with five assists.

He'll help Pittsburgh down the middle, particularly in the faceoff circle, while Crosby is out of the lineup.

His goal and assist numbers are down a little this season, but he has been a strong possession player for the Hurricanes. Had he not been signed for next season at more than $3 million, it's more likely he would have been claimed on waivers when available last week.

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