Best NHL captain from each franchise: Florida Panthers – Olli Jokinen
Just like the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Florida Panthers are another team that has never won a Stanley Cup championship in their entire existence. Unfortunately, that’s well over 20 years of disappointment but a few times so far in franchise history, they’ve had some incredible players wear a Panthers jersey with pride during their tenures.
Back in 2003 and until 2008, center Olli Jokinen was the talk of the town. He led the team in many offensive categories when it came to points, assists, and shots on goal. Jokinen did all that he could with the opportunities given to him but sadly, the Panthers failed to reach the Stanely Cup playoffs during his prime years.
The team lacked top talent around Jokinen for them to punch a ticket to the postseason but Jokinen at least made the years he was captain tolerable for Panthers fans. The Panthers knew he was a top talent and being captain for five straight seasons would inevitably be a big trade piece as, at the time, they tried rebuilding for a brighter future. Even to his day, he still owns the franchise records for goals, assists, and points.
Jokinen was ultimately traded and got a king’s ransom back from the Phoenix Coyotes who sent players and draft picks in exchange for his services. One can only imagine if maybe the Panthers kept Jokinen around as they rebuilt through the NHL Draft and NHL free agency if things would have gotten better for the franchise to take advantage of his brief window as team captain.