Agent: Predators broke promises made to Olli Jokinen
That was the message conveyed by his agent, Ian Pulver, on Sportsnet 590 The FAN's "Hockey Central" on Tuesday, on which it was alleged that the Predators broke promises made to Jokinen before he signed a one-year, $2.5-million contract last summer.
According to Pulver, Jokinen - recently traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a four-player deal involving Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli - was promised the opportunity to line up at center alongside some of the club's top talent.
All things being equal, then, Jokinen was bumped down the depth chart, recording three goals and three assists in an average of 13:31 of ice time per game.
While he may get an expanded role with the Maple Leafs, Pulver admitted his client's situation - moving from a first-place club to a team well out of the playoffs - is less than ideal, especially when one considers Jokinen has a grand total of six playoff games in 16 years of NHL experience on his resume.
"Olli chose to go to Nashville - he had other suitors - to participate and play for a team which he felt was a contending team," Pulver added. "He was looking forward to being part of that, and things didn't go as planned."
Pulver did say Jokinen was and remains willing to jettison a top-line assignment in lieu of more of a checking role on a contending team - a trade-off he had come to accept with the Predators.
"I can't say he was happy to be traded out of there," Pulver said.
It's believed Toronto general manager Dave Nonis may look to flip Jokinen prior to the trade deadline, if there are any other takers out there.