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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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I have said since the end of the season that Olli would be one of 2 ex Panthers I would consider bringing back. His wife and children have never left Parkland, I am sure that would mean a lot to him in that he would be with them more often than not during the season. I am sure he realizes he is not getting anywhere close to his recent salary of 5+M based on his production since he left here, oh and that’s another thing it is HERE where he “created” his career, so why couldn’t he resurrect it here as well. So a 2 – 3 year deal starting at 2.1M and ending at 2.5 M with bonuses based on goals, points, GWG, and playoffs might be enough.

LOOK you are not bringing him in to be the “face of the franchise” nor are you bringing him in to be Captain. All you are asking is for him to re find the magic he once had here and to finish what he started, that is helping bring the Panthers back to the playoffs.

As for those who say he was a cancer in the locker room, I say ti was JM that he couldnt get along with and while Olli never wanted to leave the Panthers, he couldnt get away from Martin fast enough after JM continually pinned him as “the problem” seems to me a guy who scores ya 30+ goals for 3 straight seasons might have a point. That is that we have the horses to play a more offensive game, rather than the typical JM style of defense first.

Amen Catfan!

Well said Catfan!

Olli could only help this anemic offense, especially with Booth sustaining 2 concussions in one season. This summer's UFA pool is very very weak.

You people are retards he's horrible and he is dull in the dressing room he washed up why do you people think he always gets traded wow you people have no hockey sense

I'd personally rather see the young players being given a chance than having Jokinen face and dullness back again.

i don't think you're allowed to offer incentive-laden deals anymore, are you? i thought that was one of the changes put forth in the new cba....

ugh... my goodness. are you people for real? you want to bring back this dud of a player? i don't care what the price is, he's not worth it. he's a tool with a great shot, not an nhl'er. there's a difference, you know.

and i pity the fools that side with olli in the JM vs. olli war. it should be abundantly clear at this point that the smarter, better hockey person won that war.

First, Jokinen was also considered a cancer in Calgary which is why they traded him away.

Saying that, both JM and Jokinen were cancers to the panthers. JM with his style of playing not to lose which doesn't work in today's NHL unless you have a really hot goalie.

Next, you don't bring in a player like Jokinen unless he is the difference to get you to the stanley cup finals.

This team isn't even close to making the playoffs let alone the stanley cup finals.

Bring in the young players see who has the character of a winner and keep them.

None of this matters unless we clean out the front office and start committing to scouting and developing players.

Sexton things we have 5 top fowards on our team. None of these top 5 forwards are in the world championships, none of these top 5 forwards has ever made an all star team.

No President of hockey operations, no assistant GM, the coach of your AHL franchise is not developing any of our players.

Until this changes nothing changes.

At the end of the day, Yormark will have hockey operations sign Jokinen because he likes him and he only looks at the marketing of the team and not the opportunity to build a winner and a winning organization

Martin, the smarter and better hockey person? How quickly some forget how he crippled this franchis as a coach and GM for years. Ollie did more for this team than martin by miles.

He's a good center. The Panthers need a good center. If he comes cheaply enough the Panthers should consider picking him back up. He has never played for DeBoer and JM's gone, so it's practically a new organization from when he left.

This changes if the Panthers can actually acquire a #1 center over the summer, but I haven't looked at this year's FA market so I don't know about that.

The Panthers will need a lot more than just Jokinen to make the playoffs....

Rhino or Jokinen as your #2 center next season? You pick...

This is a tough one to call, but there could be some upside here… First off, I think there’s a lot more to it than the Zednik thing… Olli seems like a decent guy, but now has a rap on him that he may not be the best guy in the dressing room… And it’s not just that he’s not putting up big numbers in other cities, it’s that he’s not being a productive TEAMMATE… Maybe he needs to change his role now later in his career… Maybe he got spoiled getting a ton of minutes here in FL due to a weak supporting cast…

Either way, I’m sure he could go to a team and put up better numbers… It would be interesting to see if Coach PDB would be interested in a guy like Olli… This is one of those situations where the Cats could take advantage of a situation, as Olli probably won’t get a lot of offers from other teams… Now wherever he goes, he won’t be getting anything near his $5 mill salary, so if the Cats could sign him to an incentive-laced 2 or 3 year deal for about $3.5-4 mill, it may be worth looking into… And yes this is far from a saving grace, but it could give us some depth to trade Horton and Weiss while they rebuild and get better players to build around for the future….

JimH who are you kidding, this is the same organization except that JM is gone, other than that it is the same organization that makes mistake after mistake

We, in Rochester, are hoping the Colby Robak signing will lead to a trade involving Ellerby. We don't want to endure another season of stupid hockey decisions and giveaways.

And hopefully, Ben "The Statue" Groulx will be gone also, so he can't screw up anymore prospects than he already has.

I understand Ellerby isn't liked very well in Rochester, but people keep talking about trading him like he has some great value... I suppose he still may be considered a prospect, but more than likely he's overrated like many of our other youngsters.... So until he proves otherwise, let's hope the Cats stop hyping him and can be realisitic about his potential... Maybe an AHLer, but that's yet to be proven as well.... So don't expect value in return..

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