Preds sign Olli Jokinen — one year, $2.5 million

5 Comments

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