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Olli Jokinen undergoes abdominal surgery, expected to make full recovery

Olli Jokinen

Calgary Flames’ Olli Jokinen of Finland, chats with his teammates during hockey practice in Calgary, Tuesday, April 14, 2009. The Calgary Flames will face the Chicago Blackhawks in game one of the NHL Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series in Chicago on Thursday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Jeff McIntosh)


Some interesting news out of Calgary, especially on the heels of the Roman Cervenka signing -- unrestricted free agent center Olli Jokinen had surgery earlier this week to repair an abdominal muscle tear.

Rehabilitation is expected to be three-to-four weeks and doctors expect Jokinen to make a full recovery, the Flames said.

Length of recovery is Jokinen’s only real certainty at the moment. His window to re-sign with the Flames seemed to close earlier this week when Cervenka, the KHL’s leading playoff scorer, inked a one-year, $3.8 million deal.

“Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line centre,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said of Cervenka.

Some will argue that if Cervenka’s Calgary’s No. 2 center, Jokinen could be brought back as the No. 1 (he did, after all, post his highest assist and point totals in four years.)

But that seems like an awfully risky venture -- Jokinen will be 34 in December, has already played over 1,000 NHL contests and, based on his 23G-38A-61PTS campaign, will probably be looking for a salary bump from the $3 million he made last year.

Will some teams be willing to pay him? Yes. Is Calgary one of those teams? Based what Feaster said upon signing Cervenka -- “we need to get younger” -- it doesn’t appear so.