Chicago Blackhawks

Jussi Jokinen on the Block

Michael WagnerSenior Analyst IAugust 11, 2008

According to the St. Petersburg Times, with the Tampa Bay Lightning's 17 forwards already under contract, they have been shopping Jussi Jokinen and Michel Ouelett. The Lightning are still thin in goal with Mike Smith and Olaf Kolzig, so it is likely they are looking to add another goalie.

Additionally, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking thin at forward behind Toews, Kane, Havlat, Sharp, and Lang. They look to add another wing for either their second or third line. And, they have been looking to get under the cap, trying to move goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

When I looked at the numbers, the Blackhawks are over the cap by $2.5 million and the Lightning are $3.255 under the salary cap. If the Blackhawks were to move Nikolai Khabibulin ($6.75 Million) to Tampa Bay for F Jussi Jokinen ($1.875 Million) and Mike Smith ($.950 Million), they could possibly solve each other's problems. 

The Blackhawks get under the cap and add a second or third line winger, while the Lightning improve their goaltending, but also elevate themselves $.670 Million over the cap.

Although the Lightning would be over the cap, they can move Ouelett to another team like the Kings, who are trying to get to the salary cap floor and just get a draft pick for him. This would then get them back under the cap by $.63 Million.

This is a great move for the Blackhawks. If they can pull it off, Chicago can insert Jussi Jokinen on the second line with Martin Havlat and Robert Lang, or on the third line with Andrew Ladd and Dave Bolland.

Jokinen could be very successful on the second line because he and Havlat can use their speed to beat other second lines in the West.

Although this is all speculation by yours truly, it is a move that makes sense for both teams and makes both teams better for next year. Khabibulin back in Tampa Bay would solidify the Lightning's goaltending, and Jokinen to the Blackhawks would solidify their forward corps.

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