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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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

 
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