Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why the Jokinen Acquisition is Such a Strong Move

Jarmo hanging at Cannonfest
Today the CBJ acquired Jussi Jokinen off of waivers from the LA Kings.  Jokinen is roughly 34, has scored in the past, harmed us in the playoffs when with the Pens, and is coming off a knee injury at Florida last year.  I feel really strongly that this is a good move.  The fact that it is a no cost move may move it into the great move category, depending on how it all turns out.  No assets were given up, there is no risk to this move, but possibly a really decent upside for this particular CBJ team. 

I had been thinking that a really good move  would be to acquire a couple of veteran checking wingers/centers at the deadline for the stretch run.  There is a legitimate need for a more productive fourth line, and going rental veteran is likely a pretty solid strategy to upgrade that line's performance.  But it does erode those lower round draft picks if you have to make a trade and that's where Jarmo and his crew of scouts make their money (see re: Nutivaara).  So even though they are low round picks, they are valuable to the organization and should not be given up lightly.

But Jokinen fills this role, for free.  And while I think he can hold this role down, there is potentially an upside that could make him even more valuable.  So I feel pretty good about this move.  And for a young team under duress with injuries, the sight of reinforcements coming over the hill may give them a needed spark. 

So from what I have seen in the twittersphere today,  he is apparently good at faceoffs (a huge need) can play any forward position (we need centers), has played center in the NHL(!), and is 2 years removed from a 60 point season.  So the biggest question is how much is left in the tank, and a waiver wire claim that is an upgrade for your team is a great way to find out.  I did note that RJ Umberger tweeted that he could be over in 20 minutes if Jarmo needed some help.  You gotta love that!  I'd love for RJ to have that chance, but probably not gonna happen.  I don't think RJ ever had the speed you need in today's NHL, even at the prime of his long and fruitful career.

So it's a good day in CBJ land. 

Coach Hitchcock comes back to town on Thursday.  I am really happy for him.  We never shoulda fired Hitch in the first place, but I am impressed with what Tortorella is doing.  That last Jack Adams wasn't for nothing.