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Penguins acquire Jokinen from Hurricanes - 04-03-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Ray Shero keeps adding.

The Penguins have acquired left winger Jussi Jokinen from the Hurricanes in exchange for a conditional draft pick. The choice will be a seventh-round pick unless Jokinen appears in at least half of the Penguins' playoff games this spring and they win the Stanley Cup, in which case it becomes a sixth-rounder.

Jokinen, 30, has appeared in 33 games this season and has 11 points (six goals, five assists). He is signed through 2013-14 with a salary cap hit of $3 million. He has won 168 of his 283 faceoffs (59.4 percent) of his faceoffs this season and has averaged 15:35 of overall ice time. Broken down, he has averaged 2:22 of power-play time and 1:25 on the penalty kill.

Jokinen is one of the best NHL's best all-time shootout specialists having converted 30 of his 66 attempts (45.5 percent).

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Hurricanes will take on some of Jokinen's salary but the report did not supply specifics.

Jokinen was placed on waivers last week by the Hurricanes but was not claimed.

A few highlights:

A native of Finland, Jokinen was a teammate with Brandon Sutter in Carolina and also played with Matt Niskanen and Brenden Morrow in Dallas. He has also play for Tampa Bay.

EN Says: If you had asked Ray Shero if he was going to make any more moves prior to Saturday's game against the Islanders, he would probably tell you no. But one shift into that game, Sidney Crosby was lost indefinitely due to a broken jaw.

Looking at last night's loss to the Sabres, one statistic stands out: 4 for 20.

The Penguins won only four out of the 20 offensive zone faceoffs they took last night and that was a major reason they were flat on offense. Evgeni Malkin himself was 0 for 10 in offensive zone draws. Jokinen will help that area immediately.

With Crosby on the mend, Jokinen is a short-term solution to the team's hole on its top line. While his game has declined the past few seasons, Jokinen has a pretty diverse skill set and can offer something in five-on-five play as well as both special teams units. Jokinen is not a true center, but he can play the position in a pinch. Overall, Jokinen is a pretty intelligent player.

While the Penguins haven't had to go to too many shootout this season, Jokinen offer a tremendous set of skills in the shootout and can fill the void of Crosby in that area as well.

Jokinen's numbers have been on a steady, steep decline since he topped out with a 30-goal and 65-point season in 2009-10. Since then, Jokinen has seen his goal totals drop from 19 to 12 and now six.

A big question with this move, especially with the moves the Penguins made last week, is speed. Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Brenden are not exceptional skaters. The Penguins expect their forwards to play every inch of the ice. Can they expect three forwards in their 30s to skate the way they normally expect their forwards to do so?

Jokinen's salary is a little concerning. Given that the salary cap is expected to drop to a little more than $64 million this offseason, keeping Jokinen's salary, even at a reduced total as McKenzie suggested, will make it difficult, if not impossible, to re-sign the likes of pending unrestricted free agent forwards such at Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis.

Ultimately, Jokinen is an addition to a team with some already impressive depth who addresses some specific immediate needs.

(Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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