The Detroit Red Wings have brought in another veteran forward to compete for a job, signing Jussi Jokinen to a professional tryout. Jokinen broke the news himself on Instagram, though the Red Wings have not actually announced the deal.
Jokinen, 35, spent time in four different organizations last season, suiting up for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks for about a quarter of the season each. That raised his total to nine different NHL teams throughout his lengthy career, and climbed him even closer to the 1,000-game mark. Jokinen currently sits at 951 regular season contests in his career, and has been an on-again-off-again scoring threat throughout. He ended last season with just five goals and 17 points, giving a final indication that his NHL time is coming to an end.
Detroit is trying to find any help they can get up front for a season that looks like it might be another long and tough campaign. Captain Henrik Zetterberg is likely to miss at least a huge chunk of the season, and the rest of the roster is dotted with underperforming young players or over-the-hill veterans. If Jokinen were to crack the Detroit roster, it would likely be as a placeholder in the middle-six while the team continues to develop star prospects like Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen outside the NHL. Jokinen does have versatility, having played all three forward positions during his NHL career and contributing on both the powerplay and penalty kill.