Olli Jokinen

Preds sign Olli Jokinen — one year, $2.5 million


The Nashville Predators have signed veteran center Olli Jokinen to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.

So, uh, maybe Mikhail Grabovski isn’t signing in Nashville after all. (Good timing on that post.)

Jokinen, 35, had 18 goals and 25 assists last season for Winnipeg. As we wrote last week, he’s not the dynamic player he used to be, but his two-way game is underrated. Among Jets regulars in 2013-14, no player started more of his shifts in the defensive zone.

“Olli Jokinen is a proven veteran center who will provide us with size, leadership and offensive ability in the tough Central Division and Western Conference,” Poile said in a statement. “He provides our coaching staff with more depth and options at the forward position and coach [Peter] Laviolette believes he is a good fit for our style of play.”

Where Jokinen slots into the Predators’ lineup remains to be seen. Could he play on the top line with newly acquired winger James Neal? At his age, that may be a stretch. As of right now, Nashville’s other candidates to center Neal include Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson and Matt Cullen.

Related: Pressure’s on Poile to add a top center in Nashville

Video: Flyers’ Konecny scores first NHL goal

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Through six games of the NHL season, Travis Konecny enjoyed a nice start to his rookie campaign with five assists. Just one thing was missing, though.

On Tuesday, he took care of that against the Buffalo Sabres.

Konecny, taken 24th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, deflected an Ivan Provorov point shot early in the third period, beating goalie Anders Nilsson on the glove side for his first NHL goal.  That goal also got the Flyers on the board.


Konecny and Provorov make Flyers, expected ‘to be here all year’

WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Sharks

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks and Paul Martin #7 of the San Jose Sharks defend against the shot of Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks during a game at Honda Center on December 4, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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California rivals clash tonight, as the Anaheim Ducks visit the San Jose Sharks. This marks the first meeting of the season between the two Pacific Division teams.

The Sharks have lost two games in a row, while the Ducks have won two straight.

You can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN or with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra (10 p.m. ET).


Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Brent Burns is on a beastly pace

Report: Ducks put Despres on long-term injured reserve

NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Flyers; Ducks vs. Sharks

Video: Looks like Bishop lost some teeth after taking a shot to the mask

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Difficult night for some goalies across the NHL.

Frederik Andersen has had his struggles against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, although the players in front of him haven’t given their puck stopper much help, either.

And then there is Bolts goalie Ben Bishop, who took a Peter Holland wrist shot off the mask and appeared to lose some teeth as a result.

But this is hockey. Bishop, who even appeared to crack a smile while being examined on the ice, remained in the game.

Video: Sabres make Flyers pay after Giroux slams Girgensons from behind into the boards

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Claude Giroux was called for boarding after plastering Zemgus Girgensons from behind into the boards in the second period. But the Buffalo Sabres made the Philadelphia Flyers and their captain pay.

Giroux was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. He promptly exited the penalty box, though, after Matt Moulson scored six seconds into the Sabres power play, giving Buffalo a two-goal lead.

Girgensons and Moulson scored less than two minutes apart to give Buffalo the lead.