The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with free agent center Olli Jokinen on a two-year contract worth $9 million, according to Ed Tait of The Winnipeg Free Press. The deal averages out to $4.5 million per year.
Jokinen is a veteran center with size that the Jets need down the middle. He's 33 years old and still has a lot to offer in the NHL.
Last season, Jokinen had a total of 61 points and scored 23 goals playing with the Calgary Flames.
Jokinen's prime years are past him. He was once a 90-point player with the Florida Panthers. However, Jokinen is still able to produce at a reasonable pace.
The two-year deal also means that this is a short-term fix, and that the Jets are serious about contending for the playoffs next season.
General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has addressed needs to fix the short-term worries with his signings of Alexei Ponikarovsky and now Jokinen. The $4.5 million per year will not be a worry to the Jets since it's a short-term contract.
Cheveldayoff's goal is to make the playoffs every year and, with these signings, it's more of a possibility the Jets will be a playoff team next season. While the short-term goal is fixed, it gives time for the young players and prospects to continue to progress and help achieve the Jets' long-term goal.
This means that Jets top prospect Mark Scheifele can now continue to develop in the juniors instead of being rushed up. When Jokinen's two years are up, Scheifele should be ready.
A very nice job done by Cheveldayoff.