Olli Jokinen and New York Rangers Not on Speaking Terms
According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, the agent for center Olli Jokinen said that the Rangers have had no contact with his client and expect Jokinen to find work on the open market. He also said that he expects Jokinen to play in the NHL and that the KHL is not an option.
“They have not talked to us. I do not expect them to at this point,” said Jokinen’s agent, Mark Gandler, to ESPN.com. “I thought he played well in New York. I think he has a lot of value in the league. I think a lot of teams could use him. He has a few good years ahead of him. He’s healthy, he’s got skill and ability.”
This is expected news. The Rangers traded for Jokinen partially for some offense, but also because he was on a one-year deal and the player he was traded for, Alex Kotalik, was on a two-year contract. Jokinen did not give the Rangers nearly the offensive boost they needed and by the end he just looked disinterested.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella also explained after the season that he wanted the team to get younger. Re-signing Jokinen at this point in his career would be the total opposite of that.
Jokinen is just 31, but he is clearly not the player who once scored 39 goals a season. He could, under the right circumstances with two talented linemates backing him up, produce offensively, but the Rangers do not have the types of players that he needs to thrive, and he isn’t the leader they need to succeed.
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