A day after the Nashville Predators beat the floundering New Jersey Devils 3-1, where coach Peter Laviolette shuffled the lines for no other reason than he thought that they should be playing better hockey on their four game win streak to lead the NHL with 82 points, GM David Poile brought back former Preds Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Olli Jokinen, prospect Brendan Leipsic and a first-round pick in 2015.
Franson, 27, a defenseman, has 6 goals & 26 assists in 55 games and Santorelli, 29, a center, has 11 goals & 18 assists. Both are pending unrestricted free agents.
Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement on the Predators website;
“In preparation for the 2015 playoff run, our goal was to add a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations and a proven forward who could move up and down lineup based on the situation. We were fortunate to do this in the same transaction with players who are in the prime of their careers more than two weeks before the trade deadline in order to give them more time to contribute and gel with their teammates.
“Both Cody and Mike were drafted, developed, and began their NHL careers here. They know our organization and still have former teammates and friends on the roster. We are fully confident that they will seamlessly fit into our team.”
In 48 games, Olli Jokinen had 3 goals, 3 assists and 6 points as a Nashville Predator, which is quite a dropoff from his last year as a Winnipeg Jet (2013-2014) where in 82 games, he had 18 goals, 25 assists and 43 points. However, as an elder statesman of sorts, his off-ice leadership role had been geared more towards the younger players as was shown on in the web series – Nashville Predators Beneath the Ice, where his family was making sure that the younger Nordic players (including Filip Forsberg who recently broke a previously held record for Preds rookies with 19 goals) were being taken care of.
His wife today tweeted a tongue-in-cheek tweet about Olli being traded in the middle of the season (she’s already apologized because some people don’t have a Finnish sense of humor):
Never did like mustard yellow
11:26 AM – 15 Feb 2015