Jan. 25, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jussi Jokinen (36) brings the puck up ice during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Belanger Back On IR, Team Looking At Jussi Jokinen?

A couple of tidbits from your friend Gene Principe…

Eric Belanger is out for at least a week after re-aggravating his groin.  This puts Ryan Smyth back at centre, which you should hate with the fire of a thousand suns.

The part that should grab your attention is the ‘no one has been called up’ part.  Surely the Oilers could call up a natural centre from OKC (or Hartikainen) in time to meet the team in St. Louis.

Maybe this has something to do with Jussi Jokinen being on waivers?

With Travis Ewanyk getting signed to an entry-level deal last week, it puts the team at 49 contracts (or one below the 50 max).  If the Oilers are serious about making a pitch to Dan DeKeyser tomorrow in Toronto, they’d have to trade a player away in order to make possible room for both DeKeyser and a prospective Jussi Jokinen.

At 3M for another year, he’d be a fine fit on the bottom six.  If Yakupov is in the bottom six, Jokinen could play any of the remaining wing positions and be a good fit.  A 45 point player in 2011-12, Jokinen’s shooting percentage is the lowest it’s been in four years.  I’d take that gamble.  He’s also over 58% successful at the dot at C.  Drop him anywhere in that bottom six.

He’s got five teams to pass through before Edmonton would have a shot.

Put this on the back burner until tomorrow.  I’d be shocked if Jokinen didn’t get claimed by someone.

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