Guest Writer: Jokinen Extinguishes The Flames

Very pleased to introduce the following guest writer. Kornburg is a memorabilia junkie. I met him through a friend on Twitter last week, and so far I've been impressed with everything he's shown me. Today, he's submitted a piece on the Calgary Flames, more specifically Olli Jokinen. Take a look. You can find Kornburg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@kornburg

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Greetings hockey fans. This is Kornburg and I am here to share with you my thoughts on why Olli Jokinen has never amounted to the superstar status he achieved in Florida, while also explaining why the Calgary Flames are going to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Although some might argue that the Flames lack depth and their management is sub-par, I strongly disagree that these reasons justify why the Flames are going to miss the postseason.

Olli Jokinen was born December 5th 1978 in Kuopio. Finland. He seemed destined for greatness when he was selected 3rd overall by the LA Kings in the 1997 NHL entry draft. With such high expectations, it is sometimes normal for players not to achieve greatness in the NHL. However, Jokinen has now played over 950 NHL games with 5 different NHL teams in his lengthy career.

Although the Kings drafted Jokinenm he only lasted two seasons in LA before he found himself with a new team. That team which was willing to take a chance on the 1st round prospect was the New York Islanders. Usually players drafted in the 1st round of the draft, especially the first 5 picks, are considered to be franchise players and could be considered assets to be built around for the future. Give credit to the Kings, however, because they were smart enough to realize that Jokinen possessed other qualities that the team recognized as damaging to the organization.

Once Jokinen was an Islander, he lasted only one season on Long Island. He was later traded to the Florida Panthers where he played some of the best hockey of his NHL career. He was a major piece of the controversial trade that sent him and Roberto Luongo to the Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kavasha. Although the Panthers seemingly won this trade because Luongo ended up being one the best goalies in the league, they also were given a failed NHL prospect with massive upside, Olli Jokinen.

Jokinen ended up playing seven seasons with the Panthers before he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes at the draft for the upcoming 2008-2009 season. The Coyotes attempted to build a team to compete for the Stanley Cup but ended up missing the playoffs that year and traded Jokinen to the Calgary Flames. This time he was dealt on deadline day

One thing worth mentioning is that before the deadline deal to the Flames, Jokinen had never been apart of a team that has played in the playoffs. In Jokinen's seven seasons with the Panthers, he managed only two seasons with 70+ points, recording an average of 90 points between the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 season. The Panthers failed to make the playoffs all seven years when Jokinen was a Panther.

The Flames were considered to be Cup contenders in 2008-2009 trading a 1st round draft pick and speedy center Matt Lombardi for Olli Jokinen on deadline day. However, they were bounced in the first round. Jokinen, with one remaining year left on his contract with the Flames, played 56 games the year after before ONCE AGAIN he traded. This time to the New York Rangers. The Flames were going to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years and the New York Rangers believed they needed a big center to help them win a Stanley Cup.

As a New York Ranger, Jokinen played 26 games and tallied only 15 points while scoring a measly 4 goals. To add insult to injury, the Rangers missed the playoffs on the last game of the season in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jokinen was responsible for missing the final shootout attempt of the 2009-2010 season, which resulted in a 9th place finish for what seemed to be a playoff-bound Rangers squad.

Olli Jokinen Resume:

-L.A Kings make the playoffs the year after Jokinen is not on the team
-Islanders miss the playoffs the year after Jokinen is not on the team
-Panthers miss the playoffs the year after Jokinen is not on the team
-Coyotes MAKE the playoffs as the #4 seed after Jokinen is not on the team
-Rangers miss the playoffs once they traded for him in the 2009-2010 season
-Rangers make the playoffs this year because Jokinen is not on the team
-Flames miss the playoffs again this year because Jokinen was back on the team

My theory that Jokinen is an instant cancer to any of the NHL team he joins seems flawed when looking at the stats provided above. In my defense it is important to understand that they only two teams that “Jokinen theory” did not affect was the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders. **Both of which are arguably the two worst organizations in the NHL and problems run deeper then just Olli Jokinen.**

Therefore I ask my readers why is it that Jokinen is still a sought after commodity in the NHL? I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, and when you look at his career stats, that's all I see.

**955 regular seasons game played, 6 playoff games.**

Jokinen has never won a major championship in any professional hockey league (Swiss A, Sel and SM-Liiga) and is a proven cancer to the NHL and any organization he plays for. Why is it that ever team he plays for miss the playoffs only to make the playoffs the year after?

That is for you to answer!

Kornburg

6 Comments

Derrick Newman's picture

First off it's OLLI Jokinen, Oli Jokinen and Oleg Kvasha, not Kavasha. Its hard to take this seriously if you can't even take the time to spell the players names right.

It's not that I dont disagree with you with your assertion that Jokinen is a cancer and supremely overrated, its that some of your logic is a bit flawed. I was a huge fan of Jokinen when he was in Florida and for a long time I thought he would look great in a Flames sweater. Then the Flames salvaged their future for him and acquired him 3 years too late. He has never meshed with Iginla despite numerous attempts to force them together and I think that is why he has been deemed a failure in Calgary. What most people don't realize is that he has become a decent second line player, playing alongside Glencross and Moss (at least until Moss went down with an injury). He was always counted on the be THE GUY in Florida and was pretty much allowed to do what he pleased and players were expected to follow suit around him.
Then he arrives in Calgary surrounded by a decent team with an already established superstar and en established defensive system in place and he goes MIA. He wasn't used to a system and the pressure to perform alongside arguably the best power forward of the past decade was too much pressure for him.
He has fit in well, and trust me this is hard for me to say, as a second line guy. Is $3 million too much for him? probably. Was the re-signing of him freaking insane, probably.
He does have redeeming assets but not as the GO -TO guy anymore.

Also you can't blame him for the Rangers missing the playoffs. That was not his fault despite missing the final shootout attempt. Im sure Higgins or Kotalik would have done the same and probably would have scored less than 4 goals.

He is a big body up the middle with a cannon of a shot and he has wheels( despite stick-handling like he is part of a tyke hockey team) and I think that's what a lot of people(GM's) see or saw in him.

The Flames will miss the playoffs this year(most likely) but to say it was all Jokinen's fault is a bit far-fetched. The team was mismanaged for a long time and simply doesn't posses enough talent right now to make the playoffs.

I'm not an Olli Jokinen fan but looking at it objectively, he does have some redeeming qualities and I'm not sure I agree with the whole "Cancer" myth that he has created due to his lack of playoffs.

Was Luongo a cancer before he went to Van? No. What about Jay-Bo? Maybe overpaid, but not sure a cancer.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

First off, I love the response.

Cancer is a harsh word, thats for sure. But let's be honest. Facts don't lie. Spelling mistakes in things as important as players names doesn't help an arguement either lol. But seriously. Chances are he's not the inly reason any of these teams missed the playoffs, but it is pretty evident that he's not the reason why any of these teams DID make the playoffs. 955 games played, 6 playoffs. Thats a OUCH stat if you ask me.

Keep up the great work. Wink

Derrick Newman's picture

Agreed, he's not the impact player everyone thought he once was or ever could be. He will forever be a second rate player and right now an overpaid second rate player.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

If he's a legit top 6 , 3 million isn't terrible. If he puts up 40pts per avg. Pretty bad. lol.

IkeFall2k9's picture

I agree Jason, spelling mistakes most definitely do not help one's argument. However, chances are that he's not the *ONLY one to ever make a spelling mistake when conveying an interesting argument. Wouldn't you say lol

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Was waiting for someone to correct me on that! Mind you, I was trying to tame the fire that was Newman's opening statement against Kornburgs opinion. Spelling mistakes are a non-issue for me, obviously.

Who learnt yu how too spoke?