When Ray Shero acquired Jussi Jokinen at last season’s trade deadline it barely caused a stir. After all, the Pens GM had already amped our emotions to a fever pitch by trading for Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray.
These days Iginla, Morrow, and Murray are skating for other teams. And Jokinen? Since arriving in the Steel City he’s totaled 23 goals and 51 points in 65 games. Darn fine production for a player who was swapped for the proverbial bag of used pucks (a conditional draft pick).
“Jussi has been pretty good for us,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “One thing he’s brought to our team is just the intelligence in the way he plays the game, how smart he is on the ice, his hockey sense.”
Indeed, when I think of Jokinen the words crafty, economical, and versatile come to mind. His stick is always on the ice and he’s always in position to make a play.
In many ways he reminds me of a poor man’s Ron Francis. Like the former Pens great, Jussi doesn’t possess blazing speed. Howe...