Panthers News: Olli Jokinen May Be Traded Before Deadline

Dino MoriAnalyst IJanuary 31, 2008

I don't know what's worse: being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan or being a Florida Panthers fan.

If your allegiances are with the felines from the South, then let me offer my condolences to you.

For the second time in three years, Floridian hockey fans will be losing another star. 

Centre Olli Jokinen will likely be traded before the February 26 deadline.  He is rumored to be going to Calgary in exchange for Alex Tanguay of the Flames.

If the deal happens, it will reunite Jokinen with his former coach, Mike Keenan.

Yes, Florida fans, "Iron" Mike Keenan.  The same guy who orchestrated one of the worst trades in NHL history while serving as Panthers general manager.

Back in 2006, Keenan dealt the best young goalie in the NHL, Roberto Luongo, defenseman Lukas Krajicek and a sixth round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for aging forward Todd Bertuzzi, goalie Alex Auld and blueliner Bryan Allen.

Bertuzzi, best known for his sucker punch to the head of Steve Moore, made a brief stop in Detroit before landing in Anaheim.  Auld is a backup in Boston, while Allen signed a new five-year deal with Florida this past summer. 

I'd say Panther fans will never forgive Keenan for this "blockbuster" deal.

Jokinen becomes a free-agent at the end of this season, too.  There is pressure on Panther management to get something for him.  Jokinen leads the team in goals, assists and points.  He has been with the Panthers for seven seasons.

Unfortunately, for hockey fans in Sunrise, it won't be eight.