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Say Goodbye to Olli-Wood

Olliphoenix_4KANATA, Ontario -- Olli Jokinen is now the former captain of the Panthers after being traded to Phoenix prior to the start of Friday's NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place.

The deal includes two players, a pair of defensemen, and one of Phoenix's second round draft picks (49th overall).

Looks like a decent move for the Panthers, and shores up their defense. But Phoenix has to totally love this move.

The players: Nick Boynton, 29, and Keith Ballard, 25.

Both are strong players (Ballard's the star though), and make combined a little more than Olli will make in 2008-09. Both players have expiring contracts, Boynton a free agent after '08-09; Ballard will be a restricted free agent following next season.

I would guess this ends the speculation Florida will go after Ottawa's Wade Redden this offseason, instead, the Panthers need to get themselves some scoring -- because the Panthers don't have much now that Olli's gone.

Olli's been Florida's leading scorer the past five seasons. JM must have really wanted Olli gone to make this deal. It's not the overwhelming trade we all thought was going to come down the pike.

But Ballard is a strong player, some are saying a potential star in the making.

-- Will be on 790 The Ticket around 8:30 to talk about the trade. Working the phones, updates as we go.

-- Spoke with Olli not too long ago, will give you these quotes, then transcribe JM and get those too.

Here we go.

Arizona1 "I wasn't surprised to get traded. I knew it was going to happen. I am surprised at the destination. I'm looking forward to playing under Wayne Gretzky. I've only met him in passing. There are some good players out there.

"It's always a shock to get traded. It's part of the business. I was ready for this. My agents do their homework, talk to other people. They obviously know more than the players do in these kind of situations.

"I had a feeling after the season they were going to trade me. Especially after they hired a coach. No one called me. The only way I knew about it was when [PR guy Justin Copertino] text messaged me. I knew then my dream was over. Since then, I knew I was gone for sure.

"I don't want to be somewhere where I'm not wanted. It's a tough business. That's the sad part. It's not just me who was traded. It was my family, friends around here who have a piece of this. I'm happy to say I was part of the Florida Panthers for eight years. But it's over now.

"South Florida is our home now. It will remain our home for the rest of our lives.

"There was a lot of special things that happened here for me. I want to thank all our loyal fans, my teammates in Florida. I've seen a lot of teammates come and go, now I'm going.

Arizona2 "It was definitely time to move on. I had 89 points one season, 91 the next. A plus player. Then I had a down year. I was a bit off, but a lot of things went on that affected me.

"Every player has a down year, but I don't think I had the support of management. At the end of the year, I don't think they respected what I do. That makes it kind of hard to respect them. I took most of the blame for last year, and looking back, that was a mistake. It wasn't the best thing to do. The message from the staff was that [missing the playoffs] was my fault. How much can you blame one guy? Maybe they didn't do such a good job either.

"I do wish the best for the Panthers. I hope they made a good deal. I think Phoenix believes they made one. I hope this works out well for both teams.''

Some stuff from Jacques Martin:

“I felt we needed to improve our defense,’’ said Martin. “When you look at teams who are successful, you need defensemen who are mobile and can move the puck. Acquiring defensemen is not easy. They’re hard to come by.’’

“This is not personal at all,’’ Martin said. “As I’ve always said, I’ve enjoyed working with Olli. He’s an excellent player. But I looked to improve our club. I wouldn’t have made the trade if I didn’t think it was good for the organization. I didn’t have to make the trade. That’s why we made it.’’

Olli Jokinen photo illustration: Devin Donahue

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i didn't want jokinen here anymore but omg i'm not fond of this trade i think we could have gotten a better deal.

what free agent is out there jeez martin must know something i don't

Pie Face better get a scorer in free agency or guess what... 1st pick next year...Tavares.

Holy defensive Logjam Batman! What do we now have 10 NHL Dmen on the roster!!!!!!!

This is move #1 when is Jay Bo getting traded!

goodbye offense, hello mediocrity we know you so well.

George, talk to me brother-- This is a big surprise to me. I did not think we would give up on Olli like this. I don't want to be little what we have gotten for him or what will potentially get for him in this trade but something tells me we could have gotten a better deal... What are your thoughts?

Do you think that this move has anything to do with our new coach-- Of course Jacque is still around though.

What do you think we must do to recover from this move? What direction do you see things going for this team in the coming season?

who is going to score now? we lost so many games by one goal and now we give up our leading scorer. I hear that frolik is going to start next year but we need scoring now. it seems like we are entering another rebuilding period after finishing ten years of one.

This is a terrible move.

Where's the forward to help the young guys out?
Where's the friggin...1st round pick???

WTF...2 more defensemen?

Does this mean Bouwmeester is done in Florida?

unbelievable. Every year this teams gets no better. Now we'll have a better defense, but won't score much. He was the closet thing we had to a superstar. With a chance to become the best team on S Fla.(like in '96), they again will be lost in the crowd

This trade makes no sense. We are not re-building, when we trade a No.1 center with a 2-year below market contract for 2-D men who become UFAs at the end of next season.We are not attempting to win now either.

We are just loading adding more expiring contracts at the end of next season joining Stumpel, Peltonen, Zednick,Dvorak etc.

This makes me suspect that J-Bo may have made it clear that he will not resign and that JM intends to nove him for offensive help.

I was in favor of an Olli trade. But there's only one possible explanation for this deal: Don Shula is now secretly doing JM's job and is reconstructing the Killer B defense... Bouw, Bryan, Belak, Ballard, and Boynton (and Branislav, if he sticks around). Think about it. :)

Other than that? No Tanguay. No Sedin twins. No #1 pick. No way.

I'm a Caps fan and despite that fact, I feel horrible for Panthers fans on this. Were Gretzky and company actually brandishing guns when this deal was made?

No quote yet from JM, but here's the reaction in Phoenix (from the Arizona Republic website):

"We're really thrilled," said Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney. "For us to be able to come up with a No. 1 center, an all-star, a big body to go against (Joe) Thornton and the bigger centers in our division and conference, I just think we got better.

"Obviously, we gave up Keith Ballard, who’s a good young player, and Nick Boynton, a solid defenseman, but we just thought this was too good a player to pass up, and now the work’s gonna be to get more defensive prospects."

The paper also suggests that the original asking price was one of the two defensemen and Phoenix's #1 instead of #2... of course the deal ended up being two defensemen and the #2.

WHAT THE FREAK!!!!
JACQUE-ASS!!!!!
I HATE THIS GUY!!!!
WE COMPLETELY LOST THIS DAM TRADE!!
AWWW CRAP!!

Good trade for both clubs. I'm sure Panther fans that have Center Ice and have actually seen Ballard agree cause he's an excellent defenseman with tons of skill, grit and character. Olli needed a change and wasn't captain material. JM will turn this team around, watch and see.

As a former Florida resident who lived about 5 miles from the NCRC/Office Depot/Bank Atlantic Center and now Phoenix resident, I think this was a very fair deal.

Ballard is capable of some great game changing hits and is pretty good as a solid defenseman and can even add a little bit of offense when allowed to shoot the puck on the power play.

Boynton is a pretty solid second line defenseman. He's not a shut down player, but he'll give you some solid play and generally doesn't make any horrible mistakes.

As someone attending Coyotes games now, I can't wait to see Olli centering and Doan on the wing and maybe a Turris or Mueller! Going to be exciting in the desert this season with another solid veteran and all the young talent.

While player-for-player, this seems like a pretty solid trade it leaves me wondering who they think will be scoring for Florida? I also fail to see how this will help the already lackluster fan-base when you trade away the face of your team (again...see Luongo in Vancouver). Take away the franchise leader in scoring and adding defense may lead to a more solid team, but won't do much to draw fans to the arena.

Should be interesting to see if Florida can get a new face of the franchise and some scoring. Maybe another Bure-type deal to add some excitement?

Good deal for the Panthers. Quality players coming back for a guy who didnt score a single even strength goal in the last third of last season. People asking where we are going to get scoring from should realise that the team scored 43 even strengthed goals in the last 25 games and Olli scored ZERO. LOL.

How are we going to replace that!

wow this is the second time my favorite player has been traded or relaesd by the panthers guess where playing the 2010 play offs??????????????///

I feel really sorry for Olli for all the work he's done and all the blame he has got in Panthers. The guy who scores around 90 points in a team like this must be really damn good.

I just think that he would have deserved a better team than Phoenix... Well, at least now I know two players from that team by name.

"I just think that he would have deserved a better team than Phoenix..." You have no idea what you are talking about if you don't think the Coyotes are going to be a competitive team next year, they were in the playoff hunt for a good part of the year even with their terrible start. You should watch other teams and get knowledge before you try to put teams down :)

I just want to say, on behalf of all REAL Panther fans, We're going to miss you Olli! You are an amazing player and were more than amazing to watch. One bad season,or a third of a season doesn't mean the face of the franchise should be traded but obviously,people who don't want to win think otherwise.

I am hoping that at the end of the 2 years left of your contract, you decide to come back to the Panthers.


Too all the fans out there, I am not happy bout this trade either, I love Olli, but I think the only thing that can salvage this trade is JM doing what it takes to sign Marian Hossa this free agency.

Don't underestimate the calibre of player Ballard is, he is an incredible talent. There should have been a higher draft pick involved in the deal with the two blueliners (they probably would have put Wheeler in the deal if he had taken the Coyotes' offer instead of becoming a free agent substituting for Boynton). Ballard is the king of the hip check, one of the only players in the game who does it cleanly and uses it well. He moves the puck brilliantly on the power play and is a great shutdown blueliner. He's also not afraid to drop the gloves when necessary. He can put a little power behind that shot when needed as well. Like I said, you stole a gem in Ballard and you will be surprised at what a great player you have in him, especially against the Eastern Conference's best guys.

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