Signing Olli Jokinen just months after trading him to the New York Rangers is intended partly to cover the Calgary Flames from an uncertain recovery by centre Daymond Langkow, general manager Darryl Sutter said Friday.
"We're 100 days post-injury," Sutter said at a news conference. "We thought he would be further along than he is, and he's still not."
Langkow took a slap shot in the base of his neck against Minnesota in March. He suffered a fractured vertebra, said Sutter.
Jokinen agreed to a $6 million US, two-year deal, while another former Flame, Alex Tanguay, signed a $1.7 million, one-year contract on Thursday, the opening day of free agency.
Bringing the pair back to the Flames will return some size, speed and chemistry to support the team and captain Jarome Iginla, he said.
"It wasn't just Olli, it was Olli and Tangs, right, together; that was important," said Sutter. "We felt that after discussing it with the players — Jarome and Olli and Alex — that, you know, that's what they felt they missed, was that playmaker with them. And certainly Tanguay's capable of that."
Jokinen was shipped out last year because of a lack of production —19 goals and 50 points in 75 games over parts of two seasons in Calgary before getting traded on Feb. 1.
Sutter believes Jokinen can produce more offence for less money in his second stint with the team.
"I think when we traded him, we said that if we could get him at a number that worked for us that we would pursue it," said Sutter.
Tanguay had a career-best season in 2006-07, amassing 81 points with the Flames. After seeing his production dip the next season, he requested a trade and was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens.
Calgary had the NHL's worst offence last season with 204 goals.