It's easy to see why the Finnish national team wouldn't want the Canes' Jussi Jokinen on the roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
All he can do is score goals and set up others for goals. He's a playmaker. He's good on the power play. He can take faceoffs. He can play any forward position.
He has Olympic experience, playing for Finland in 2006 in Italy. He proved he can score big goals in big games in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. And if the game is decided in a shootout, which Olympics games can be, he may be the best.
"Sometimes, you wonder about the selections," the Canes' Eric Staal said today.
No kidding. Politics surely are a part of it, as with the selection of many national teams. There has been speculation the Finnish selection commitee members were concerned about Jokinen's speed. He's not the Finnish Rocket or anything, but he makes up for it by being crafty, by being in the right spots at the right times.
When the Ducks' Teemu Selanne recently broke his jaw, there was talk Jokinen might be a replacement. He isn't sure.
"I haven't heard anything," he said today. "I don't know who they might call up. I think the guys who are hurt now should be able to play."
One of the injured is Canes forward Tuomo Ruutu, who has been out with an upper-body injury. Ruutu has not returned to practice but is skating and may be ready to play next week.
In other injury news, defenseman Joe Corvo may be set to jump back into the lineup tomorrow against the New York Rangers. Or it could be Thursday at the RBC Center against the New York Islanders.
Jokinen, who has 12 points in his last eight games, calls it a huge disappointment not to be going to Vancouver. It was a goal, he said, for four years.
Said Staal, a member of Team Canada, "He should be there, no question."