Olli Jokinen C NAS May 29 '78

If there is going to be hockey in the NHL this season, the Winnipeg Jets expect to be much stronger, largely because of their acquisition of veteran center Olli Jokinen.

The Jets improved by only four points (80 to 84) from the previous season and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight time, so general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff knew he had to make some moves -- especially in the middle, where the club needed the most help. Cheveldayoff hopes he's filled that void by signing Olli Jokinen, who had 23 goals and 61 points for the Calgary Flames last season. Jokinen isn't the 30-goal scorer he was for the Florida Panthers a few years ago, but he's better than anyone the Jets have and gives them a legit first-line man in the middle. "We're very, very excited to get him," Cheveldayoff said. "He's got size and a tremendous amount of experience. We believe that with adding the size of [Alexei] Ponikarovsky and now Jokinen that we're a much bigger and harder team to play against. "We worked extremely hard at this deal as we did on other deals that didn't come in our direction."

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