Olli Jokinen will make his St. Louis Blues debut tonight against a team he spent two weeks with in the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite his short tenure in Toronto, the veteran was impressed with how the Leafs’ organization takes care of its players.
“It was amazing to see in two weeks: Everything is first-class. It’s actually a great place to play,” said the 36-year-old per The Canadian Press.
Jokinen was particularly impressed with the meals and facilities at the players’ disposal.
“Everybody says it’s like the New York Yankees in baseball playing in Toronto,” he said. “I liked the two weeks. I don’t know why the free agents don’t want to sign here.”
As Jokinen joins his 10th NHL club in St. Louis, he said he didn’t mind the media spotlight in Toronto and offered up a little advice for his former mates.
“The guys have tendencies when things go well, they like to go read stuff about themselves,” Jokinen said. “They get in this cycle that they have to read about themselves all the time. But one [piece of] advice for the players that play in a Canadian market, or any market: At the end of the day, all that matters is what the coaches say, management says and your teammates. That’s it. And your wife. I think that’s all you need to do.”
Jokinen is also appreciative of Leafs GM Dave Nonis for keeping his word.
“A couple of weeks ago when I went [to Toronto] from Nashville, I talked to him on the phone and he was saying that he’ll try to do everything possible to move me to a playoff team, and he was a man of his word,” Jokinen said. “They could’ve done anything: They could’ve put me in the minors, they could’ve told me to stay home, ‘We just ate your salary.’ It was a very respectful move by Dave.”
In 54 games this season split between the Predators and Leafs, Jokinen has three goals, four assists and 28 penalty minutes.