Today another great Maple Leaf announced his retirement from the NHL. This year we’ve celebrated the centennial season with number retirements, statue announcements, and video tributes.
Today, we celebrate Maple Leafs icon Olli Jokinen, who today signed a one day contract with the Florida Panthers, and announced his retirement.
Jokinen joined the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 15th, 2015 along with Brendan Leipsic and a first round pick (traded to the Flyers, who selected Travis Konecny), and the Predators acquired Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson from Toronto.
Two days after he arrived, he spoke with the media:
Over the next two weeks Jokinen would be convinced of his place Leafs history, and that Toronto is actually the best franchise in the NHL. He would, uh, play in six games. Oh! He assisted on a James van Riemsdyk goal once. That was his last game as a Maple Leafs.
Youtuber Hockey_Montages made this tribute video for our now retired hero:
Jokinen’s time as a Maple Leaf ended as quickly as it came, as he was traded to the St. Louis Blues on March 2nd, 2015 for Joakim Lindstrom and a 2016 6th round pick (Nicolas Mattinen).
Jokinen played one more game in Toronto, when the Blues came to town four days after he left. He said there were eventually some highlights of playing in Toronto like “...hot breakfast and lunch players [get] every single day”.
Jokinen expressed gratitude in being traded to a contending team (The St. Louis Blues would be beaten in the first round in six games by the Minnesota Wild), saying “They could've done anything: They could've put me in the minors, they could've told me to stay home, 'We just ate your salary”. Hang on, is Olli Jokinen a psychic?
Thank you for your service in blue and white Olli. We appreciate all you’ve done for us.