Panthers grant Jokinen wish, send him to Phoenix

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

Olli Jokinen got his wish last night.

The Panthers finally traded their star centre, shipping Jokinen off to the Coyotes for defencemen Nick Boynton and Keith Ballard and a second-round draft pick. Jokinen wanted out and the Panthers were happy to accommodate him. He will earn $5.25 million (all terms US) next season and $5.5 million in 2009-10.

Ballard, 25, had six goals and 15 assists in 82 games for the Coyotes last season. He's in the final year of a deal that will pay him $2.5 million.

Boynton, 29, scored three goals and added nine assists and 125 penalty minutes in 79 games. He'll make $2.95 million in 2008-09, the final year of his deal.

The Blue Jackets got into the act as well, acquiring winger R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick from the Flyers for the 19th overall pick and a third-round pick. The Flyers likely needed to create salary cap room to re-sign forward Jeff Carter.

Also yesterday, the Predators shipped goaltender Chris Mason to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round pick. Mason, 32, played in a career-high 51 games for the Predators last season, posting a 2.90 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage.

Nashville also re-signed goalie Dan Ellis to a two-year, $3.5 million contract.

The deal will see Ellis make $1.5 million in 2008-09, followed by $2 million in 2009-10. The 28-year old appeared in 44 games last season, posting a 2.34 GAA with a .924 save percentage and six shutouts.

Meanwhile, the Ducks informed star defenceman Scott Niedermayer that he could wait until Monday before deciding his playing future. Niedermayer's family celebrated the arrival of their fourth child yesterday, the day the Ducks had hoped to find out whether he will return and honour the final year of a contract that pays him $6.75 million.

THRASHERS HIRE ANDERSON

John Anderson never doubted his chance would come.

He just had to be very patient.

After coaching in the minors for 13 seasons -- and winning five championships -- Anderson finally landed a coveted NHL job when the Thrashers announced him as the fourth coach in franchise history.

Anderson was an obvious choice after leading the Thrashers' top affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, to the AHL title. In fact, GM Don Waddell didn't start the interview process until the Wolves had beaten Wilkes Barre/Scranton in the Calder Cup final on June 10.

Still, Anderson wasn't taking anything for granted after being passed over for jobs in Anaheim, Toronto and Boston. After Waddell made the offer late Thursday, the new coach returned to his hotel room and cried.

"Sometimes you question yourself," the 51-year-old Anderson said. "But I really think things happen for a reason. Being in the minors for 13 years made me a better coach, a stronger person, a better person. I thank my lucky stars for all those years."

NONIS JOINS DUCKS

The Ducks announced that former Canucks GM Dave Nonis has been named senior advisor.

It's believed Nonis will have the freedom to leave his position in Anaheim if a more attractive offer from another team comes along.


Videos

Photos