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Olli Jokinen signs with Predators

The Nashville Predators have signed center Olli Jokinen to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, the team announced Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Jokinen, an unrestricted free agent, had 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 82 games with the Winnipeg Jets this past season.

"Olli is a guy that all through his career has played against the top lines," Predators general manager David Poile said during a news conference. "He's a big, physical player that can play against the best players in the National Hockey League. His record speaks for itself. He's a guy that's scored a lot of goals in his career. We expect that this is another guy that's going to help us increase our offensive production."

A 16-year veteran, Jokinen has scored 317 goals and has 423 assists over his career for seven teams. He also was a member of the Finnish national team, which won the bronze medal at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and finished second -- with Jokinen as the captain -- at the ice hockey world championships in May. He will be playing for his eighth NHL team.

Jokinen said the opportunity to play for new Predators coach Peter Laviolette was a primary reason he chose to sign with the team.

"His teams have always been with high tempo, with good skating, and they create a lot of chances, a lot of offense," he said. "At the same time, his teams have always been hard to play against with team speed. Very organized, and stick with the game plan." 

The chance to return to the postseason was another selling point for Jokinen, who hasn't played for a playoff team since the Calgary Flames afforded him his lone appearance in 2009.

"He provides our coaching staff with more depth and options at the forward position, and Coach Laviolette believes he is a good fit for our style of play," Poile said in a team release earlier in the day.

The Predators ranked 19th in the league with 2.61 goals per game this past season and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. After the season, the Predators fired Barry Trotz -- the only coach in franchise history -- and replaced him with Laviolette.

The Preds have been busy so far this offseason, also trading for star winger James Neal last week. Neal had 27 goals and 34 assists in 59 games this past season, which marked the sixth straight year he scored at least 20 goals.

Nashville also tried to trade for Jason Spezza last weekend, but Spezza exercised his no-trade clause to nix the deal.

Afterward, Poile, who seemed irked about the trade falling through, said he didn't want to pitch any player on coming to Nashville who did not wish to play for the organization.

Spezza was dealt to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Jokinen, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound center, has scored at least 20 goals in seven seasons and has reached the 30-goal mark four times. Jokinen was an NHL All-Star in 2003, and he has been a team captain or alternate captain in eight of his past 11 seasons.

Poile said Jokinen's experience and versatility should help the Predators. He said the Predators are penciling Jokinen in at center but also believe he can play wing.

"With all the young players that we have here, I think the idea of adding that veteran forward presence was the right thing to do," Poile said.

ESPN.com's Katie Strang and The Associated Press contributed to this report.