Some interesting news out of Calgary, especially on the heels of the Roman Cervenka signing — unrestricted free agent center Olli Jokinen had surgery earlier this week to repair an abdominal muscle tear.
Rehabilitation is expected to be three-to-four weeks and doctors expect Jokinen to make a full recovery, the Flames said.
Length of recovery is Jokinen’s only real certainty at the moment. His window to re-sign with the Flames seemed to close earlier this week when Cervenka, the KHL’s leading playoff scorer, inked a one-year, $3.8 million deal.
“Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line centre,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said of Cervenka.
Some will argue that if Cervenka’s Calgary’s No. 2 center, Jokinen could be brought back as the No. 1 (he did, after all, post his highest assist and point totals in four years.)
But that seems like an awfully risky venture — Jokinen will be 34 in December, has already played over 1,000 NHL contests and, based on his 23G-38A-61PTS campaign, will probably be looking for a salary bump from the $3 million he made last year.
Will some teams be willing to pay him? Yes. Is Calgary one of those teams? Based what Feaster said upon signing Cervenka — “we need to get younger” — it doesn’t appear so.