directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Cross Jokinen off the list

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cross Jokinen off the list

It appears Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch has it on pretty good authority that the Jackets are not interested in Florida Panthers' center Olli Jokinen. Here is what he said in the Puck-rakers blog:

Olli Jokinen is NOT going to join the Blue Jackets. Just cross his name off the list right now, folks. Trust me on this one.

I've got to be honest here, I"m scratching my head on this one.

No doubt Portzline has gotten word straight from the man himself on this one. Scott Howson had to have told him the Jackets were not interested.

My question is why the hell not?
Now Jokinen is not at the top of my wishlist but he's certainly on it.
If they are interested in Marleau then why not Jokinen? Both guys come with question marks. If they didn't then neither would be on the block as organizations find a way to keep franchise #1 centers.

Jokinen is 29 years old. He's signed for 2 more years at 5.25 mil and 5.5 mil. He's scored 71, 91 & 89 points over his past 3 seasons.

Here is's take on him:

Is a big presence up the middle and a good face-off man. Has above-average hands and the instincts of a natural goal-scorer. Can play the wing in a pinch.

Is a better scorer than playmaker, which makes him a little predictable over the long haul. Must continue to grow as a team leader.

Career potential
First line center.

True he isn't the ideal playmaker for Nash as Olli scores as much as he dishes but beggars can't be choosers at this point. We need more scoring and Olli would give us that in spades.

He's one year older than Marleau, he about 1 mil cheaper per year and he had 71 points versus 48 on a non-playoff team.

If we are talking Z + 6th for Marleau then I'd rather take my chances with Olli with that package.

Why? Well its an overpayment either way but if I had to choose Jokinen has consistantly put up better numbers as the "man" on a poor team. I am more confident that he could step into the Columbus lineup and continue putting up those numbers more so than I am with Marleau.

Clearly there is something more here. Perhaps Jokinen has some character issues or isn't much of a team player? Maybe Olli has come communicated through back door channels that he would not play for Columbus? Maybe Howson has already kicked the tires and the price was so outrageous that he immediately crossed him off the list?

I'm sure the org has got its reasons but on the surface this one is a real head scratcher.



Anonymous said...

I certainly hope that if this DID in fact come from Scott, it was an 'off the cuff' type of comment and not set in stone.

If we had the chance to get him and we simply passed on him it would be a big mistake.

Whatever the knock on him, we could put up with it for 2 years--dontcha think? Of course, we don't want to give up too much to get him (to me that would mean the 6th--I am really starting to think we need to hang onto that player), but if it was only a slight overpayment, then I say do it.

He is miles better than what we have, not super expensive (contract wise) and not a ton of term.

Hopefully, this is just another media guy who has mucked up information.

Anonymous said...

It's been well established in public and private that neither Hitch nor Howson are interested in Jokinen. I'm not sure why Portzline is just now bringing this up, but we;ve known this since before the season ticket holder open houses.

Pub said...

Howsen said something pretty cool on the radio today. He said when/if we do a big time trade, that its going to be a guy that can help us out for the next 5 or so years. I like that thinking. He said something to the effect that there are about 12 guys he wants...and he maybe has a shot at 5? Some like that anyway.

He is in a tough spot. We are not rich in young talent (thanks Dougie) but need a HUGE upgrade in top 6 NHL talent.

I think our bottom 6 could be the best in the long as some of them are not getting top 6 minutes. Know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Florida's GM has already told the other GM's what he would demand for Olli and Howson decided that's just too high a price.