Early this morning, Karpat Oulu announced their captains for the upcoming season via their official Twitter account and I noticed that a couple of former friends would be dawning a letter on their jersey.
Saammeko esitellä: Kärppäkapteenisto kaudelle 2020-2021! 💯💛🖤
— Oulun Kärpät (@OulunKarpatFi) August 19, 2020
I’m not going to spend much time on this since there’s nothing really to say, but I did think it was notable that Jesse Puljujarvi has been named as an alternate captain for Karpat in the Finnish Liiga. After returning home for the 2019-20 season about as down as a player possibly could be, Puljujarvi seems to have found his groove with Karpat (56GP: 24G, 29A for 53 points) and it’s nice to see him playing well enough to earn a letter on his jersey. To put it another way, I’m still cheering for the guy even though things didn’t work out in his first tour of duty.
Regardless of whether he comes back to play for the Oilers or not, an actual possibility based on reports that have come out over the past few months, having him playing his best in Finland and proving that he can perform and contribute at that level can only help to raise his trade value from the ground levels it was at a year ago. Either way, I almost can’t believe that this saga is still going on after all this time and I have to admit, it will be nice to reach a conclusion on this one way or another. We shall see.
He has an out clause to return to NHL. Ken Holland told me last week in the show they had positive talks a few weeks back… sensed that both sides are open to him returning. https://t.co/gHqR3myquz
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) August 5, 2020
The other part of this announcement that kinda made me laugh was seeing that Jussi Jokinen was also named an alternate captain for Karpat. In case you forgot, the Jussi Jokinen era in Edmonton ended about as quickly as it began after the forward got into only 14 games with the Oilers before he was eventually traded to Los Angeles in exchange for Mike Cammalleri. Jokinen suited up for four different NHL teams during the 2017-18 season (Edmonton, Los Angeles, Columbus, Vancouver) before making his way back to Europe, which seems like a wild way to end an NHL career for a guy that played nearly 1000 games (951 in total).