by PuckStopsHere on 03/20/09 at 02:49 AM ET
It is a little over two weeks past the trade deadline. It is possible to get some early opinions on the deals that occurred on deadline day. One trade that looks like a big victory is the Calgary Flames pickup of Olli Jokinen from the Phoenix Coyotes. Calgary acquired Jokinen and a 2009 third round draft pick in exchange for Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust and a first round pick in either 2009 or 2010.
Jokinen has been a great pickup. He has been one of the best players in the NHL since the deal. In fact, his eight goals since deadline day is a league leading figure in that period.
When we look bad on the Jokinen deal, it will be likely judged based upon how far Calgary makes it into the playoffs this year and not upon Jokinen’s short term regular season success. Should Calgary falter in the playoffs, even if Jokinen maintains his goal scoring pace, the deal will be seen as a failure. This would be an incorrect assessment of the facts.
Olli Jokinen has been the best goal scorer in the NHL since Calgary acquired him. That makes his pickup a tremendous short term success. During that time Calgary has a 3-4 record. That is a team failure. Nobody should be able to place the blame for it on Olli Jokinen and use it to diminish his value to the Flames, but unless the Calgary Flames have a deep run into the playoffs, his league leading goal scoring pace will soon be forgotten.
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