Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 02/07/09 at 05:30 PM ET
On Saturday, the Hurricanes traded away dead weight Wade Brookbank and Josef Melichar plus a draft pick for 25 year old winger Jussi Jokinen. Jussi is not related to cane killa Olli Jokinen, whose Coyotes will host the Hurricanes tonight.
Jokinen has scored 16 (6/10) points for the dreadful Lightning this season. He was placed on waivers a few days ago and was acquired after he cleared waivers. This move will take on a few hundred thousand dollars over what Melichar and Brookbank were making. His salary this season is $1.875M.
One year ago, Carolina had zero Finns. Now they have three. There are just 40 Finns in the entire League, meaning that the Canes have a robust 7.5% of them. The only Finnish Hurricane I can recall from the past is Sami Kapinen.
Jokinen hasn’t scored a goal since November 13 and has been in and out of the Bolts’ lineup with an injury and healthy scratches. On this side, Brookbank and Melichar were coated with dust they’d been on the shelf so long.
This is yet one more crazy move by the Tampa Bay management, who are treating the team as if it’s a toy. Another useful player sent away in exchange for some garbage and a worthless draft pick. Even though there’s a bit of a salary burden, Carolina gets the much better end of this deal.
Paul Branecky of Hurricanes.com says that Jim Rutherford has been eyeballing Jokinen for a little while now and that the economics wouldn’t have worked out if they had grabbed him off waivers. Jokinen will add some needed depth at forward, allowing some of the River Rats to return to Albany. Also, he’s a beast in shootout situations.
According to all reports, Jokinen will be in the lineup tonight in Phoenix, but I can’t find anything about what number he’ll wear. He’s worn 36 for the Lightning and Stars, but that number is taken by Michael Ryan, who has been shuttling back and forth between Raleigh and Albany.
UPDATE Jokinen will wear 36 and Ryan will pick something else. No further details yet.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.