After a quick eight-game jaunt in Finland, Jussi Jokinen is back practicing with his Carolina Hurricanes teammates, according to Canes Now’s Chip Alexander.
Insurance questions expedited his return to the states, where he’s now staying in shape with the likes of Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Joni Piktanen and Jamie McBain.
Jokinen described the challenges that come with waiting out the lockout.
“The hardest part for now is practicing and working out and no one knows the date when we will be able to play again,” Jokinen said.
“For now, it takes a lot of motivation from within. Obviously we have a lot of guys here skating and pushing each other. That helps.”
Jokinen played for Karpat, his hometown team. He told Alexander that he might return there – or somewhere else in Europe – a bit before or after Christmas if the lockout drags on even further.
In the mean time, he’ll have memories of playing back home.
“When I left there seven years ago I wasn’t sure if that was the last time I would have a chance to play there,” Jokinen said. “So obviously I tried to enjoy every minute, every moment. They have great fans there, and the fans there were excited to see me and other NHL players in that league.”