WINNIPEG - Olli Jokinen calls it an investment in himself.
The Winnipeg Jets centre told reporters on Wednesday that he’s had a full-time massage therapist on his personal payroll for the past six seasons and he’s the reason Jokinen has only missed a few games during that span.
“It’s been working for me,” said Jokinen, who turned 35 last week. “Every night, I get massages and get stretched out. It’s just one more tool that I’ve had in my toolbox. At the end of the day, it’s about how you feel on the ice.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 40 or whatever you are, you try to maximize your potential. It’s really hard to stay fresh in this league. You really have to take care of yourself off the ice to stay focused and be ready to go every day.”
The man responsible for keeping Jokinen fresh is James Piccutelli, a longtime trainer for the Buffalo Sabres and one of the first guys on the scene after goalie Clint Malarchuk after his throat was slashed by a skate.