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Canes Finally Get Their Man in Jokinen

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
The Canes made a move today, acquiring 25-year-old Finnish winger Jussi Jokinen from Tampa Bay in exchange for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and a fourth-round pick in this summer's entry draft. Jokinen will be in the lineup for tonight's game against the Coyotes.

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Jokinen actually cleared waivers earlier this season, meaning the Canes could have had him for free but would have had to add his salary - a sore spot for many teams in today's game. By sending two players the other way, most of that salary is off-set, and the Hurricanes get a player they will actually use. Brookbank and Melichar haven't suited up for the team since December 26 and December 4, respectively.

"We've looked at it for a couple of months," said GM Jim Rutherford. "Once he was on waivers the first time, he wasn't a player we could take off waivers even though we wanted to because we have to look at the economics of it and we had to figure out a way to off-set the money. Once we were able to do that, we were able to add him to our team."

Jokinen, who was acquired by Tampa from Dallas at last year's trade deadline as part of the Brad Richards/Mike Smith trade, has 16 points in 46 games this season. He'll provide depth at forward, and has also made a reputation around the league as a shootout specialist with a 20-38 (.526) career success rate. You may remember him hitting the post behind Cam Ward after a stutter-step move in a game at the RBC Center earlier this season. I highly recommend searching his name on YouTube.

By my math, the Canes actually add a tiny bit of salary with this move, but with all three players becoming free agents after this season (Jokinen will be restricted) and the majority of that salary already paid at this point in the season, the difference is negligible.


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