The Nation Notebook: Oilers sign Jokinen, Ovi Dances, and Arbitration Cases

The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article. 

The Oilers sign Jussi Jokinen to a cheap one-year contract. Ilya Kovalchuk isn’t coming back to the NHL, at least not for one more year. A bunch of players elected for salary arbitration, but almost all will settle beforehand. Alex Ovechkin gets a little wild during his wedding.

Oilers sign Jussi Jokinen

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After most thought the Oilers’ roster was set after the Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome trade and the Kris Russell extension, Edmonton made another move signing Jussi Jokinen to a one year $1.1 million contract.

Jokinen was recently bought out by the Florida Panthers after scoring 28 points in 69 games. Jokinen looks like he can still help a team, he can play up and down the lineup, be a positive possession player, and take some faceoffs. He’s only one season removed from scoring 60 points. Maybe he won’t return to that level of play, but can he score 30-40 points while playing a veteran role? That seems likely.

Jokinen is also part owner of SM-Liiga’s Karpat team, where current Edmonton Oiler Jesse Puljujarvi played from 2014-16 before coming to North America.

The Oilers needed scoring after downgrading from Eberle to Strome, and Jokinen is a great buy low option.

Kovalchuk stays in the KHL

After much speculation Ilya Kovalchuk is going back to Russia for one more year. Kovalchuk signed with St. Petersburg SKA and will probably come back to the NHL after.

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Kovalchuk’s option were limited. He either had to sign and play for the New Jersey Devils or the Devils had to facilitate a sign-and-trade with another team. Maybe the Devils were asking for too much for a 34-year-old Kovalchuk, but now they won’t get anything as he is available to sign with any team after this contract.

Kovalchuk’s scoring in the KHL suggests he should be a solid offensive option in the NHL still, but we’ll have to wait another year to find out.


The NHLPA announced 30 players elected for salary arbitration. That seems like a lot, but almost none of them actually go through with it. Alex Galchenyuk filed for arbitration and just signed a three year deal with Montreal. Johan Larsson filed as well, and signed a two year deal with Buffalo on Saturday.

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Some notable names include Viktor Arvidsson, Tyler Johnson, Mikael Granlund, and Colton Parayko.

Last year, 16 players filed for arbitration but only Colorado’s Tyson Barrie went to a hearing. Even then, a settlement was reached prior to an award being issue and Barrie signed a four-year deal worth $22 million.

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Married Ovi Dances

Alex Ovechkin got married and ended it in the best way possible. Ovechkin finished the night by dancing shirtless to Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’, and it’s captured in glorious video.

I can’t see many NHL players getting married like this, but that’s what makes Ovechkin so great. Never change, Ovi.