Conflicting reports surrounding the Finnish Flash are surfacing about what Jokerit may or may not be offering the icon to play in the KHL this season – assuming they have that kind of cash.
Finland’s Jokerit club is embarking on a brave new adventure in 2014-15, leaving the Nordic nation’s Liiga in favor of the Russian-based KHL. It’s an odd fit, considering the origins of the Molotov cocktail, but the Helsinki squad is going for it. And according to some Finnish authorities, Jokerit is trying to lure icon Teemu Selanne back into the fold more than two decades after he left for Winnipeg.
Juha Hiitela, a Finnish reporter based in Vancouver, says sources told him that Jokerit offered Selanne $10 million to play this season, or $5 million just to play home games. The latter is intriguing, since Jokerit would play 30 games at home – meaning the Finnish Flash would net $166,666 per appearance. Not only that, but he would avoid the arduous travel schedule of the KHL in the process.
While this may seem like an exorbitant amount, it wouldn’t be surprising if Jokerit wanted to make a big splash in the team’s first KHL campaign. After all, they’re tossing aside established rivalries in Finland to play teams from Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Plus, some of their previous talent – such as Dallas Stars prospect Esa Lindell – left the team because they didn’t want to play in the Russian league. Young star Teuvo Teravainen is also gone, in hopes of cracking the Chicago Blackhawks roster.
Pouring water on the report is news site Iltalehti.fi, which quotes Jokerit CEO Jukka Kohonen as saying the team doesn’t have that kind of money to spend on Selanne. If I’m the KHL, I definitely find a way to get Selanne that cash to play for Jokerit – assuming of course, he wants to play. After all, this all goes to pot if Selanne really does want to work on his golf game more.