Center Jokinen headlines quieter free agency day
(Reuters) - Veteran center Olli Jokinen was the biggest name on the move on Wednesday as player signings slowed down considerably after the National Hockey League's free agent signing period had opened with a flurry on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old from Finland, who was selected third overall in the 1997 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Nashville Predators.
"Olli Jokinen is a proven veteran center who will provide us with size, leadership and offensive ability in the tough Central Division and Western Conference," Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement.
"He provides our coaching staff with more depth and options at the forward position and coach (Peter) Laviolette believes he is a good fit for our style of play."
Jokinen, who played in the 2003 All-Star Game while enjoying seven successful seasons with the Florida Panthers, recorded 18 goal and 43 points in 82 games for the Winnipeg Jets in 2013-14.
In other moves on Wednesday, unrestricted free-agent forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin were both acquired on four-year contracts by the New York Islanders.
Grabovski of Belarus, 30, and Russian Kulemin, 27, were teammates with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2008-13. Kulemin played for the Maple Leafs last season but Grabovski was bought out and signed with the Washington Capitals.
Eight-year league veteran Grabovski, who had 35 points in 58 games with the Capitals, is expected to slot in as the number two center for the Islanders behind John Tavares.
While more than 80 players traded teams on a hectic Tuesday as free agency opened, only 17 had been snapped up by 7 p.m. ET (2300 GMT) on Wednesday.
Among those on the move were Nick Schultz, who was signed by the Philadelphia Flyers, and fellow defenseman Taylor Fedun, acquired by the San Jose Sharks, both on one-year deals.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)