Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter failed to obtain forward Olli Jokinen at last year's NHL trade deadline. But he wrapped him up this time around.
Sutter proved to be one of the busiest GMs prior to Wednesday's 3 p.m. ET deadline, picking up Jokinen from the Phoenix Coyotes for forwards Matthew Lombardi and Brandon Prust and a first-round draft pick.
Sutter also reacquired defenceman Jordan Leopold from the Colorado Avalanche for defenceman Lawrence Nycholat, prospect Ryan Wilson and a second-round pick.
"If there had been more deadline, we had more room [under the salary cap]," Sutter said. "We wanted to get a centreman and we wanted to get a defenceman.
"We knew we'd have to pay a price. Being able to accomplish this today was important."
Jokinen, 30, posted 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points in 57 games with Phoenix.
The former all-star has totalled 229 goals and 503 points in 780 games since he was drafted third overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 1997.
"He is a big, first-line centreman who scores and plays tough," Suter said. "He can play against the big guys on the other team."
Jokinen will likely play on Calgary's top line, flanked by captain Jarome Iginla and fellow winger Mike Cammalleri.
The move also reunites Jokinen with head coach Mike Keenan, who coached him with the Florida Panthers from 2001 to 2004.
"When he came to Florida, I was a fourth-line player and I became a lot better hockey player under him," Jokinen explained. "He knows what I can bring to the table.
"A player like me, who has never been in a hockey market, it is really exciting. You're going to a place where you cannot hide."
'We're a team that's got to get healthy'
Not only is Jokinen excited by the prospect of competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in his NHL career, he fills the void left by injuries to Todd Bertuzzi (knee), Rene Bourque (ankle), Daymond Langkow (hand) and Wayne Primeau (foot).
"We're a team that's got to get healthy before you see what kind of team we are," Sutter said.
Defenceman Mark Giordano is sidelined with a shoulder injury, opening up a roster spot for Leopold.
"I was looking for a defenceman, partly related to Gio's injury and partly related to the right fit," Sutter said. "I wanted someone I knew, that the players knew."
Enter Leopold, who played three seasons in Calgary before being packaged with picks to Colorado for Alex Tanguay on June 24, 2006.
The 28-year-old veteran has six goals and 20 points with 18 penalty minutes in 64 games, and is eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1.