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Carolina’s Jokinen headed back to Finland…for now

Nov 5, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

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Jussi Jokinen

Jussi Jokinen signed for Karpat of the Finnish league in mid-September, played eight games, then returned to Carolina.

Now it appears he’s ready to cross the Atlantic again.

Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer reports Jokinen has signed a six-game deal with Karpat and will leave for Finland soon — but there’s a catch.

Jokinen is  hopeful CBA talks will heat up to the point where the move to Karpat won’t go through.

The 29-year-old Finn decided not ink a long-term deal with Karpat in September, claiming both tax and insurance issues factored into the decision.

But he also cited a desire to resume playing in the NHL as a major factor as well, explaining that skating with Carolina teammates has filled the hockey void for the time being.

“For now, it takes a lot of motivation from within,” Jokinen said of practices that include Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Joni Pitkanen, Jamie McBain, Jay Harrison, Pat Dwyer, Chad LaRose and Joe Corvo. “Obviously we have a lot of guys here skating and pushing each other. That helps.”

Jokinen was skating at the RCI (Raleigh Center Ice) on Monday with a handful of ‘Canes teammates. There’s no finite date on when he’ll leave for Karpat, where he’ll join fellow locked-out NHLers Jason Demers and Kyle Turris.

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