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Flames acquire Jokinen from Coyotes for Lombardi, draft pick

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TSN.ca Staff
3/4/2009 10:35:24 PM
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The Calgary Flames have some additional firepower to their arsenal as they have acquired Olli Jokinen and a third-round pick in 2009 from the Phoenix Coyotes for a package that includes speedy forward Matthew Lombardi, forward Brandon Prust and a conditional first round draft pick in 2009 or 2010.

A trade to the Flames means that Jokinen will most likely snap his playoff drought.  The Finnish pivot holds the NHL record for the most games ever played (780) without making a single post-season appearance.

"He's a big, first-line centreman who scores and plays tough. He can play against the big guys on the other team," Flames general manager Darryl Sutter said of Jokinen.

This will be the third team in a year for the veteran who was originally acquired by Phoenix in a trade from the Florida Panthers this past summer for defencemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton.

The move will also re-unite Jokinen with head coach Mike Keenan who was crucial to the 30-year old's development when he played for the Panthers.

"When [Keenan] came to Florida I was a fourth-line player. I became a lot better hockey player under him. He knows what I can bring to the table," said Jokinen.

The 2006 Olympic Silver medalist has one more season remaining on a contract that he signed with the Panthers back in 2004 that will see him earn $5.5 million next season.

A former All-Star, Jokinen was drafted third overall by the Kings in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.  In his first season in the desert, Jokinen has 21 goals and 21 assists in 57 games.

Jokinen is set to join his new teammates tonight in Philadelphia as the team prepares to face the Flyers on Thursday.

The 26-year Lombardi has spent all five seasons of his career with the Flames.  The speedy forward has nine goals and 21 assists in 50 games with Calgary this season.

The Montreal-native was drafted in the third round, 90th overall by the Flames in the 2002 NHL Entry draft.

"We are excited to add two young players in Lombardi and Prust to our lineup," said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney. "Lombardi's speed and scoring touch along with Prust's physical style should fit our team very well."

The 24-year old Prust has one goal, one assist and 79 penalty minutes this season in 25 games with the Flames.  He is currently sidelined with a concussion.

The draft pick heading to the Coyotes will either be in the upcoming NHL entry draft or the 2010 draft, at Calgary's option.

Olli Jokinen (Photo: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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