All week leading up to July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Olli Jokinen (C)
2011-12 cap hit: $3,000,000
Jokinen had 23 goals and 61 points in 82 games last year, despite suffering an abdominal muscle tear that required offseason surgery. He’s expected to fully recover by the start of the 2012-13 campaign, but doesn’t appear primed to return to Calgary.
The final nail in his coffin was Calgary’s decision to ink KHL standout Roman Cervenka to a one-year, $3.8 million contract. On top of that, the Flames aren’t expected to spend anywhere close to the the cap ceiling next season, so Jokinen’s services probably won’t fit into their budget.
Jokinen’s production has declined significantly since his days with the Florida Panthers, but he should find suitors interested in using him as a second-line center. Sportsnet speculated that Jokinen could demand something similar to Alex Tanguay’s five-year, $17.5 million deal. He might not get that length, but with teams eager to gobble up whatever talent that makes it to unrestricted free agency, it’s not hard to see him getting an annual salary in that range.
More UFA spotlights
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?