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Report: Jokinen won’t be back in Calgary

Olli Jokinen

Calgary Flames’ Olli Jokinen tries to knock the puck out of the air during first period of an NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)


We hesitate to say Olli Jokinen has played his last game in a Flames uniform, since he’s kind of like the cat that keeps coming back to Calgary. (Except the cat is a 33-year-old Finnish forward.)

Regardless, Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun is reporting Jokinen will become a free agent on July 1 and is expected to find a new team.

Jokinen is coming off a two-year, $6 million deal, but should get a raise in the wake of a 61-point season on an offensively challenged club.

For the Flames, Jokinen’s departure leaves them markedly thin at center. Mike Cammalleri can play the middle, but the team’s preference is to have him as a winger. After that, it’s much-maligned Matt Stajan and nearing-bust-status Mikael Backlund on the depth chart.

Hey, maybe GM Jay Feaster can trade Jay Bouwmeester for a center.

Related: UFA spotlight — Olli Jokinen