Why Maple Leafs’ Jokinen Minimize 14 Inches Of Hair
Olli Jokinen will make his Toronto Maple Leafs debut Tuesday night.
His enchanting hairdo is not going to.
The Finnish circulate, the latest Leaf explains, was chopped off Friday, two days earlier than the impending free agent was bundled with a primary-round draft pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic and jettisoned to Toronto in exchange for rentals Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli.
With new-previous Predators Franson and Santorelli straightening out their immigration issues, Jokinen attracts into the Maple Leafs lineup versus the Florida Panthers, certainly one of his eight former teams. Solely now the veteran will find commerce rumours trailing within the breeze behind him the place 14 inches of silken gold as soon as did.
Jokinen had the notion to begin growing out his Fabioesque mullet final season in Winnipeg but stored his causes quiet. The Predators say they’d nothing to do with the donation.
Gotta See It: Olli Jokinen’s once-majestic movement in gradual movement
“It was my idea. I didn’t need to make an enormous deal about it. I basically determined to let it grow and get that 12 inches,” Jokinen instructed me after a solo heat-up skate Tuesday at Air Canada Centre. “When you donate your hair, you must have 12 inches. I was in a position to develop 14 inches in thirteen months. That’s the longest it’s been. It bought pretty annoying, to be honest, but it surely was for an excellent trigger.”
The 36-yr-old father of three women had a date circled on his calendar, Feb. 13, when he would chop his mane and donate it to Pantene in Tennessee, which weaves real-hair wigs for children losing their very own hair to chemotherapy.
“There’s a lot of charities that do that, so I went into a local haircut place [in Nashville] and they set up all the pieces and took photos,” he explained. “They make wigs, so it went to a superb place.”
Despite his dissatisfaction along with his deployment in Nashville – a career-lengthy centre, Jokinen found himself on the wing of a Predators checking line – Jokinen’s transfer to Toronto, his ninth NHL club, could imply the continuation of a dubious distinction.
With 1,217 regular-season games to his title, Jokinen has but six post-season matches, making him the only player in league historical past to play no less than 1,000 regular-season games and fewer than 20 playoff games. Assume about that: 0.0049 p.c of Jokinen’s games have been within the playoffs, and a lock for the submit-season just traded him away.
Barring a flip, the streak will go on. (Leafs general manager Dave Nonis said Monday that a guy like Jokinen deserves to be moved to a contender.)
The Finn will return to his natural position, centre, for the first time this year and be flanked by David Clarkson and Leo Komarov, a nationwide teammate of Jokinen’s in Sochi and on the world championships and the primary Leaf to welcome him to the fold after captain Dion Phaneuf. The membership placed Jokinen’s stall next to Komarov’s.
“They’ve performed collectively earlier than and had success,” coach Peter Horachek says. “[Jokinen] has bought dimension. He likes to shoot the puck. That’s one thing I’m wanting forward to—keeping that shot mentality. I feel he’s going to supply some constructive management up the middle.”
Jokinen’s agent, Ian Pulver, hopped on Hockey Central at Noon Tuesday and stated the Predators had agreed that Jokinen would play the pivot when he signed with Nashville as a free agent final summer season.
“I’m excited to play in the place I’ve been enjoying previously,” Jokinen mentioned. “I’m ready that I’ve to cheap hair wig show everyone I’ve nonetheless got sport left. I’m in fine condition. I imagine I can still play at this stage. I simply gotta get out there and prove that.”
Defenceman Stephane Robidas sees plenty of value within the addition of Jokinen.
“He’s a giant guy that can skate and move the puck properly,” Robidas mentioned. “He’s an all-around player that’s really accountable defensively. He’s the third decide total by the L.A. Kings [in 1997]. Take a look at how many video games he’s played in the league—over 1,200. He’s had an excellent profession.”
The key to his longevity, Jokinen mentioned, is three pronged: keep healthy, maintain your ardour and find a very good therapeutic massage man.
“The final seven years I’ve had a full-time massage therapist that solely works for me,” Jokinen mentioned. “He knows my physique higher than I do, and he’s been an enormous assist for me.”
One fan of the Finn anxious on Twitter that Jokinen would possibly end up like Samson, that the legend might have misplaced his puck powers along with these 14 inches of hockey hair. Don’t count on it.
“You need to have a passion inside of you to play this game. When you don’t have that hearth inside of you, you’re executed,” Jokinen mentioned. “I’m nonetheless planning to play subsequent yr.