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Olli's Last Stand?

Olli Olli Jokinen stood before the gathered media at the second-to-last practice of the season at Incredible Ice on Friday morning.

Jokinen spoke on a variety of topics, including whether he thinks he's been a good leader this year to if he thinks he'll be traded this summer.

One thing Olli said that rang true is that "I'm a pretty stand up guy. I know when I'm not playing well and I can take the blame for those games. When the team isn't winning, I'll be the first to tell you I haven't done my job.''

Olli_2 It's easy to pile on Olli right now, because he hasn't played very well of late. I'm not sure if he's back next year he's not the captain again, although if JM is still the coach, I think the odds of that are not very good.

But if Olli's not the captain, who is? Unless the Panthers bring in some proven winner, a veteran guy whose been a leader to take that C, I think you have to leave it. You just can't pull the C from Olli to hand it over to a Stephen Weiss or a Bryan Allen. If Olli's back and this team is pretty much the same, Olli should be the captain.

Other things Olli said today:

“I try to do my job the best I can every single night. I think the best leaders are guys who play hard every night and do the best they can, lead by example. Have I done that this year? Not in all 78 games, no. It’s a tough task to do, night in and night out. The question is, what can one guy do? I don’t hide in the corner blaming other guys.’’

"Every guy can be a leader in their own way. I'm not a big believer in one guy saying we should do this, we should do that. At the end of the day, it's a player's decision to what they are going to do. You can have speeches every single day if you want, coaches can moderate you and say stuff. But at the end of the day, a player is going to decide on his own whether they are going to play hard or whether they are going to take shifts off.''

To hear all of Olli's comments today, go here: Download olli0328.WMA

Here is Jacques post-practice comments: Download jacques0328.WMA

-- Hope everyone likes the audio here at Panthers Plus. Just got a new digital recorder that can be uploaded. My old one didn't have that capability, one reason why I've never done it. Let me know if you find it useful.

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Comparing Jokinen to Ovechkin, which was done when it was mentioned that Friday's opponent, Washington, best player has stepped up while Florida's hasn't, is a joke. Jokinen is a star but Ovechkin is a superstar, one of about five players in the entire NHL that can carry a team on his own shoulders without CONSIDERABLE help.

Yeah, well, I certainly agree with you on that one....

The comment that should really be made is why hasn't JM or the organization brought in players that are capable of carrying the team.

This organization has relied on Jokinen who is a star player way too long, you can see it in his face that he has finally been beaten.

I don't know the whole story but it is clear that Jokinen is not a Martin player and Martin is not the type of coach that Jokinen can play for.

I am not a big fan of either Martin or Jokinen saying that I would like to see Jokinen stay in the role that he is best at which is a second line forward.

Martin has not improved this team since he has been here.

It is time to realize that we have a workable team that when they work hard and play the system they can win, when they don't they lose. You can put this team in with a majority of teams that fit this pattern (i.e. Toronto)

It's obvious that Jokinen is being made the scapegoat by Martin. After all, who else can he blame? The Coach? The GM?

no, GP, that's the obvious INTERPRETATION. as i posted on the previous entry, the more likely interpretation, given the (expected) backlash from fans and ownership, is that olli wants out and wanted to give JM and cohen a reason. this appears to be a message directed at cohen and the fans and JM was smart to pounce on it and drive a wedge in there. i like olli but i think the time has come for a change here.

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