After missing out on Jason Spezza and rumors of a potential trade for Vincent Lecavalier not coming to fruition at the moment, the Nashville Predators kicked off their free agent frenzy on Wednesday by inking Olli Jokinen on a one-year, $2.5 million deal, as per Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.
The 35-year old center -- and focus of hockey's greatest gif -- scored 18 goals and posted 43 points last season with the Winnipeg Jets. Jokinen's possession numbers aren't the greatest, but they did improve in 2013-14.
His wife is already excited for the move to Music City:
I ❤️ country music
— Katerina Jokinen (@MrsJoki) July 2, 2014
If you look at what the Central Division did on Tuesday, you'll see plenty of improvement.
Colorado added Jarome Iginla, even while losing Paul Stastny to St. Louis. Dallas were the winners of the day acquiring Spezza and signing Ales Hemsky. Minnesota inked Thomas Vanek. Chicago may have found their solution at center behind Jonathan Toews in Brad Richards. Winnipeg added Mathieu Perreault, who had a career season in Anaheim.
The Predators, meanwhile, made their big move during the draft, acquiring James Neal from Pittsburgh. General manager David Poile is willing to be patient and not just open up the checkbook for the sake of adding to his team, despite what the teams around him have already done.
"To me it's about signing the right player at the right time for the right price," Poile said on Tuesday, via the Tennessean. "You can see the competition is not exactly going backwards.
"It's going to be a very, very competitive season again."
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