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Preds sign Olli Jokinen — one year, $2.5 million

Jul 2, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

Olli Jokinen Getty Images

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

  1. President Charles Logan - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM


  2. pj608 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Nashville is going about all this the wrong way. Dont get me wrong. Joikenin is ok but he needs good offensive talent around him. Sorry Nashville. You will have to lean on Shea Webber Rinne and Seth Jones a lot this year. Neal wont even be able to do much with what you have there unless maybe if hes with stalberg

  3. petersteelewannabe - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    So much for Philly sending Vinny Lecavalier to Nashville…

  4. lilgurgi - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    I think the Preds made a mistake. Could have had LeCavalier who is younger and scored more goals than Jokinen. I’m sure the Flyers will consider coming back to the table if they want to take a 2nd shot at getting him.

  5. darksidecowboy - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Here ya go Neal, he’s almost as good as Malkin

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