For some reason it seemed like Jussi Jokinen spent way more time in Tampa than he actually did. For the record his total Lightning career consisted of 66 games spread over 2 seasons. He scored 8 goals and added 22 assists during that time. From there on he went on to play for seven more NHL teams before heading back to his native Finland to play the last few seasons for Karpat in the SM-liiga.
All in all he played in 951 NHL games over 13 seasons and recorded 563 points (191 goals, 372 assists) for 9 different teams. He was the ultimate journeyman player who had his most success with the Carolina Hurricanes (2009-10 when he scored 30 goals).
He came to the Lightning on February 26th, 2008 in one of the biggest trades in franchise history - the Brad Richards deal. Richards (his salary) and Johan Holmqvist went to Dallas in exchange for Jeff Halpren, Mike Smith, a 4th round pick, and Jokinen. Smith was supposed to be the solution in net and Jokinen a young winger who could fit in with Vinny Lecavalier.
John Tortorella didn’t waste time in seeing what he had with the 24-year-old left-winger as the threw him on a line with Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis in his very first game. He didn’t score (although Halpern had a goal an an assist in his debut). His inconsistent scoring, along with a $1.875 million salary, proved to be his undoing.
GM Brian Lawton placed him on waivers less than a year later and then traded him to Carolina for Josef Melichar and Wade Brookbank. The Lightning also picked up a fourth round pick from Carolina that was never used to draft anyone. The Lightning ended up sending it to Toronto in the Olaf Kolzig salary dump and the Maple Leafs forfeited the pick due to sanctions for signing Jonas Frogren to a contract that violated the CBA at the time.
Jokinen was caught up in the player churn that was part of the OK hockey era for the Lightning. After all Melichar and Brookbank combined to play 24 games total for the Lightning, all by Melichar. Had there been a more stable group running the team at the time, perhaps they would have allowed Jokinen to find his game with the Bolts.
Congratulations to a fine career, Jussi Jokinen.
Give John Romano credit. He knows how to put together some bulletin board material. If the Panthers come back in this series this column is going to age poorly.
Sonya-Bryson-Kirksey is a local treasure. The former member of the U.S. Air Force has been singing the national anthem before Lightning games since 2013. Tonight will mark her return to a playoff crowd, a perfect way for the Bolts to get ready for Game Three.
Matt shares his impressions from an impressive Game Two victory for the Lightning. Ryan McDonagh is in vintage form, and that’s a good thing for the Bolts.
Megan Duggan played for the US National team for fourteen years and during that time collected seven gold medals from the IIHF World Championships as well as two silver Olympic medals and one gold. She is also now the manager of player development for the New Jersey Devils.
David Perron, Nathan Walker, and Jake Walman are the only three players on the COVID protocol from teams that are in the playoffs. They all also happen to play for the St. Louis Blues. On Wednesday, GM Doug Armstrong announced that the team is working with the league to address some discrepancies that have shown up in the testing.
Last Night’s Games
Bruins 3, Capitals 2 (2OT)
Boston leads series 2-1
For the third game in a row the Caps and Bruins went to overtime. This time it was Craig Smith picking off a pass behind the Washington net and sneaking it into the net. Not a great way to lose for the Caps.
Hurricanes 3, Predators 0
Carolina leads series 2-0
This could be the end of the road for a nice run by Nashville. Alex Nedeljkovic became the second rookie goaltender to post a shutout in the postseason in Canes history.
Jets 4, Oilers 1
Winnipeg leads series 1-0
With Nikolaj Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois on the sidelines it didn’t seem like the Jets had much of a chance. So of course they won by three. Connor McDavid was held off the scoresheet. That should go over well with the Canadian media.
Avalanche 6, Blues 3
Colorado leads series 2-0
The Avalanche are going to win this series with ease. Nathan MacKinnon put up a hat trick (with two short hand goals) but no one will remember that because of this hit:
Nazem Kadri gets a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Justin Faulk pic.twitter.com/EsYoLK1rYN— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 20, 2021
Penguins @ Islanders, 7:00pm EST, NBCSN, MSG, MSG+, ATTSN-PT
Canadiens @ Maple Leafs 7:30pm EST, NHL Network
First Game of the Series
Golden Knights @ Wild, 9:30pm EST, NBCSN, BSN+, BSWI, ATTSN-RM