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Jokinen Filled with Optimism

Friday, 05.18.2007 / 11:47 AM ET / News
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Jokinen Filled with Optimism
by Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

The captain is restless.

Barely seven weeks since his season ended and more than three months until training camp, Panther captain Olli Jokinen is already focusing on the 2007-08 season.

“We took huge strides last season,” Jokinen said. “We can build something good. Everything is here and ready.”

And Jokinen is doing his part. He underwent surgery on his left wrist a week after the season in hopes of being ready for training camp, and he’s decorated his right arm with a tattoo of his new guardian angel.

“She’s the goddess of victory,” he said while glancing at the intricate artwork on his arm.

After leading the Panthers for the second consecutive season in goals (39), assists (52) and points (91), Jokinen underwent surgery to correct a problem that’s been bothering him for two seasons.
   
“I had surgery in this wrist two years ago, the lockout year,” Jokinen said. “And, you know, it never really healed. It was kind of bothering me for two years. Finally, I got an MRI and they looked at the pictures and they told me if I don’t do the surgery I might not be able to hold the hockey stick in a couple years.

“There weren’t any other options but surgery.”

Jokinen said he’ll have pins removed from his wrist the end of May. “They’ll be six more weeks with a cast on and after that we can start to do treatment,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll start using the wrist in August and I should be ready for training camp.”

For Jokinen, it’s all about next season. As he enters his seventh season with the Panthers, Jokinen has matured into the team captain and leading scorer while demonstrating incredible durability.

In his six seasons in South Florida, Jokinen has only missed seven games. Last year he didn’t miss a game despite wrist and hip injuries.

“I don’t want to say I’ve been healthy but I’ve been able to avoid the surgeries,” he said. “I’m pretty banged up every year, but with proper treatment I’ve been able to go on. I think every player goes through the same thing. You don’t want injuries to be a distraction and you don’t want to make a big deal out of them.

“If you’re able to play, you keep your mouth shut and suck it up.”

While Jokinen is pleased with his team’s improvement over the past two years – he’s bullish on younger players like Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss – he badly wants this team to not only qualify for the playoffs, but make an extended run.

“As captain I take responsibility the last two years for not making the playoffs,” he said. “My goal is to do everything possible to help my teammates and do the little things to make the playoffs. That is my only goal. It’s nice to score goals, get points and see everyone have career years. But I think we’d all trade the points for a place in the playoffs.”

And Jokinen is confident that can happen come 2007-08.

“We have everything here,” he said. “The ownership group has been doing a tremendous job over here. The coaches and owners have been giving us all the tools, investing money, money, money. The fans keep showing up. It’s a first-class franchise. It’s a nice setup here for our wives and families. It’s a nice place to play hockey.

“We just got to do our part.”

DON'T MISS OUT
Panther captain Olli Jokinen won’t be holding anything back May 24 at 7 p.m., when he discusses the past season, wrist surgery, and the promise of the future during the first live chat on floridapanthers.com. 

Remember to stay tuned to FloridaPanthers.com for exclusive stories, videos and upcoming chats with your favorite Panther players and coaches.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 72 13 34 8 47
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 74 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 70 13 26 -3 39
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 74 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 65 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 64 14 17 -2 31
B. Campbell 75 3 21 2 24
B. Pirri 42 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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