Winnipeg Jets sign C Olli Jokinen for 2 years 4.5mil Cap Hit
How I feel about the recent Jets signings. The phrases “cautious optimism” and “wait and see” come to mind. Both Ponikorovski and Jokinen have had up and down careers, let’s just hope they pull out the up part this time around.
4.5 for Jokinen also seems a little much (more than our Captain Laddie at 4.4 and Wheeler at 2.55). But the free agent market prices are always inflated anyway, Jokinen’s value is probably truely a 3. So at least it’s a positive that True North isn’t being cheap like we were afraid they would be.
Olli Jokinen signs with Winnipeg Jets. Look at his “Grr! Argh” face
However, obviously what they both bring is size. The Jets biggest needs were size and depth up the middle. These signings bring both. And while the players may not be the sexiest names, they were the best available that filled those needs. Jokinen was the only centre worth a salt in the free agent market so it was the natural move. It’s good to see True North could pull off a move.
Whatever the feeling on the signing it is an upgrade over our current number 1 centre, Bryan Little. He had 24 goals and 22 assists while Jokinen had 23 goals and 38 assists – his best numbers in the past six seasons. Some will argue his production could have come from playing with Iginla but, honestly, Kane and Wheeler being his potential wingers might actually bump his numbers. Jokinen also brings a MUCH better face-off presence, something the Jets sorely lacked outside of Jim Slater.
The signings probably leaves Tim Stapleton and Kyle Wellwood with less of a chance for a resigning. My feeling is Patrice Cormier can replace those two.
Potential Forward lines:
Quotes from around the Internets:
“It’s a nice raise for Jokinen, who made $3 million in each of the past two seasons. He’s coming of his best season since he was with the Panthers in 2007-08. He played all 82 games for the Flames, scoring 23 goals with 38 assists. Centers that can score 60 points are pretty rare in free agency.”
- Brian Stubitz, NHL Blogger, cbssports.com
“Olli is someone we identified as a potential target in free agency. Looking to get a centreman, and we are excited to get him.”
- Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, according to Illegal Curve