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Panthers Sign Robak ... Olli Jokinen from Milan to Minsk? Not So Fast

Olli3 Before we get into the Panthers signing of defenseman Colby Robak, thought some might be interested in the latest rumors regarding former Florida captain Olli Jokinen.

Jokinen to the KHL has been rumored since the NHL season ended, but today, Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov posted a note today saying that No. 12 is about to sign with Dynamo Minsk -- not to be confused with Moscow Dynamo which is apparently out of business.

The original post comes from SportsDaily.ru. Check it out if your Russian is better than mine. Admittedly, my Russian is a little rusty. 

The Puck Daddy article states that Jokinen is close to signing with the KHL Minskers, but I am hearing differently from people close to Jokinen family. 

TSN's Darren Dreger put on his Twitter account tonight that "O.Jokinen's agent, Todd Diamond refutes Jokinen is close to signing with Minsk. Says Jokinen will play in NHL next yr." Follow Dreger, if you want, @DerrenDreger

As much as Jokinen would enjoy the tax free money the KHL offers, I don't think he wants to spend an entire season playing in the KHL. Just my hunch.

Anywho, Dynamo Minsk is located in Belarus and was the home of one Ville Peltonen last season.

According to the Puck Daddy post, Peltonen has moved on to the KHL and is planning on playing in his native Finland next season.

Jozef Stumpel, the bought out Florida winger who attended at least one Panthers game once the KHL season ended this year, also plays for Minsk. Google searches also link Richard Zednik to Stumpel and Jokinen so he may be in Minsk as well for all I know. Zednik played for the KHL's Yaroslavl Lokomotiv last season, scoring six goals in 37 games.

Jokinen, you old timers may recall, used to play for the Panthers. In fact, he's a free agent now since the four year deal he signed with Mike Keenan and the Panthers in 2006 has just expired.

If you remember, Jokinen was rumored to be traded by Florida at the deadline that season. Instead, on deadline day, they signed him to a four year deal. Jokinen spent the first two years of that contract in Florida before being moved to Phoenix in 2008. Jokinen later played for Calgary and the Rangers.

Robak -- The Panthers made another move today signing prospect Colby Robak after a successful season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. Robak had 66 points off 16 goals with the Wheat Kings and was third in the league among d-men in scoring.

The 20-year-old was the 46th overall pick in the 2008 Olli Jokinen draft in Ottawa. Florida had taken the 49th pick from Phoenix in the Jokinen trade made the night before, then gave it back to the Coyotes to move up to 46 and take Robak. 

-- The Panthers won't be able to negotiate with goalie Jacob Markstrom until the World Championships are over later this month. Markstrom made Sweden's roster for the tournament.

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