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.
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