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The joke is in - Flames sign Jokinen

Been here. Been done here. Be done here again.

This is simply not very funny. Oh, the jokes have started. You’ve probably heard them already. Theo Fleury is coming out of retirement – again, followed by Jim Peplinski, Oleg Saprykin and Martin Gelinas. In fact, any and all former Flames with a heartbeat and an agent are expected to re-sign with the team.

The Calgary Flames, a team that has exactly zero post-season series victories since their exaggerated Stanley Cup run in 2004, have become the laughing stock of the NHL by re-signing Olli Jokinen. Talking heads from coast-to-coast are roasting the team and the city with remarks that - politely put – are dripping with sarcastic symbolism.

The less-than-flashy Finn was an underachieving forward whose brief tenure with the club was marked by mediocrity and sealed with bitterness and acrimony.

In a move that has shocked the sporting fraternity in around the Stampede City, the Flames have brought back Jokinen with a two-year, $6 million deal that is as puzzling as it is confusing. The monosyllabic Darryl Sutter, who rarely uses two words when one will suffice, has remained mute on his reasoning for making such an odd maneuver but even the most optimistic Flame follower cannot be confident in the mental stability of the front office.

According to reports, Sutter and the Flames were anxious to sign Jokinen and were the first team to contact him. It’s been suggested that Sutter explained to him and his agent that he was wanted by the coaching staff, the players and the ownership. The fans may have a different opinion.

For a team that has failed to win a playoff series in six years and didn’t even earn a ticket to the post-season dance last year, the failure to address the team’s most obvious shortcomings - a front line center, a scoring forward and a dependable back-up goaltender - is alarming.

As such, we have to trust that Mr. Sutter knows what he is doing, even if the evidence suggests otherwise.



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