Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
A little over a year ago, it didn’t even look like Jokinen was a lock to get another NHL contract by the time his three-year, $9 million deal expired.
The Carolina Hurricanes soured on him during the shortened 2013 campaign, but there were no takers when they put Jokinen on waivers. They eventually dumped him on Pittsburgh for a conditional seventh-round pick after agreeing to retain $900,000 annually of his cap hit.
That proved to be a steal for the Penguins as he went on to score 21 goals and 57 points in 81 contests in 2013-14. He carried that success into the playoffs where he added another seven goals and 10 points in 11 contests, including three game-winning markers.
The 31-year-old forward likely won’t be the most intriguing option when the free agent period starts, but he’s a capable top-six forward and a potentially more cost effective alternative to Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson.
That being said, Jokinen’ comeback season featured him frequently playing alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. Any team that signs him likely won’t be able to offer him that caliber of linemates to work with and his production might decline as a result.
As for how interested the Penguins are interested in re-signing him, it’s hard to say until they hire a new general manager. Currently, they’re in the process of interviewing candidates.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.