banner
Canes Corner

Canes look at options after losing Pitkanen for the year

Posted September 11, 2013

Joni Pitkanen (25) during the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C. Friday, March 30, 2012.

— The Carolina Hurricanes announced Wednesday that defenseman Joni Pitkanen will miss the entire 2013-14 NHL season due to a fractured heel that he suffered in last years shortened season.

In anticipation of the worst-case-scenario news that has become reality, the organization acquired two defensemen this off-season. They signed free agent Mike Komisarek from Toronto and traded Jamie McBain to Buffalo for Andrej Sekera.

With the Pitkanen injury, the Hurricanes will head into training camp with Tim Gleason, Justin Faulk, Jay Harrison, Brett Bellemore, Ryan Murphy, Sekara and Komisarek as their top seven on the blue line.

When asked if the team would wait to add another defenseman or actively pursue a trade or free agent, General Manager and President Jim Rutherford said that they are, “Looking at what our options are.”

Rutherford said last week that if Pitkanen was unable to be ready for the season that the team would be willing to go outside of the organization. With training camp starting Thursday, the team does have time to look at what is in the organization as well.

A few names that could be given a longer look in camp are Harvard prospect and Charlotte Checker Danny Biega, Michal Jordan who saw time with the Hurricanes last season and 2009 draft choice Rasmus Rissanen.

Pitkanen injured his heel while trying to get back in time to touch up a puck for icing against the Washington Capitals on April 2, a game the Hurricanes lost 5-3.

The Finnish defenseman has historically been among the league leaders in ice-time per season, usually logging about 25 minutes on the ice per game. During his five seasons with Carolina, he has compiled 24 goals and 116 assists and has been a point man on the team’s top power play unit.

The NHL has been mulling over the idea to change its rules on icing for years -- specifically the situation that will cost Pitkanen an entire season. As of right now, a team can still avoid an icing call by beating the defense to the puck after a pass that crosses center ice and the opposing end line -- which happens a handful of times a season, but several injuries can be linked to allowing this play to go on. The AHL has tested a hybrid no-touch rule, and after this latest season-ending injury, the NHL should rethink how icing is handled today.

There are clear scenarios when a puck is iced that there is no need to continue the play. Without getting into all the intricacies, if a defenseman can cross the face-off dots in his end of the rink before an attacking player, the whistle should blow saving players from unnecessary contact.

But this is the NHL, so there is no guarantee that the powers that be will know how to implement a change that will help the game.

18 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jbengel Sep 14, 9:40 a.m.

    This doesn't make sense. How can they know now what his condition will be 4 months from now.

    — Posted by jscott13

    He could recover form the injury in 4 months -- or never. This is the kind of thing that can end a career. But even if it healed, he'd never be in shape to play. And if by some miracle he could get in the physical condition to return... he'd still be just as prone to turnovers, penalties and bad pinches.

  • jbengel Sep 14, 9:37 a.m.

    From the accounts last week his agent was not keeping the team up with his situation and Pits... View More

    — Posted by caniacman

    As good as Morrow is, the Canes don't really need another LW. Who would he replace? Tlusty? Ruutu? Skinner? Better that they should figure out where Lindholm is going to fit and then either find a 3rd line center or a 2nd line RW (unless you think Zac Dalpe is the answer at 2R).

  • rocheccw Sep 12, 11:00 a.m.

    Contract wise...What is the rule on him missing the entire season? Does he receive his full... View More

    — Posted by Wags

    Once the Canes Place him on LTIR...the Canes or insurance(if the Canes had insurance on him) will pay him his salary. See my post above about Joni's placement on LTIR in relation to the Canes salary cap.

  • rocheccw Sep 12, 10:53 a.m.

    + him being out for the full year helps the Canes, they can put him on IR which will get them... View More

    — Posted by caniacman

    With LTIR you are much better off to be at the cap when you put someone on LTIR than over or under.

    You do not just get Pitkanen's 4.5M added to the 64.3M cap...it is not that simple.

    If the Canes sit at 62M when they put Joni on LTIR the their new cap is 66.5M...but if the Canes were somehow at 65M when they put Joni on LTIR then their cap stays at 65M. The only way you get full AAV cap value for a player going on LTIR is if you are at the cap...i.e. if the Canes are at 64.3M(the Salary Cap) when they put Joni on LTIR then their new cap is 68.8M. but I'm no expert...

  • scott_m99 Sep 12, 10:25 a.m.

    This is a blessing in disguise

  • wlcat609 Sep 12, 9:39 a.m.

    What I see happening in this situation is - Joni not playing may be a benefit in disguise as it provides an opportunity for another defenseman that REALLY PLAYS DEFENSE in front of Cam!

    What I think JR might do is watch those in camp now and evaluate if one can help the team. If not, then he'll claim a 'D' player off the waiver wire when the teams trim their rosters - that way the Canes would only have to pay the newly acquired player half of his salary (the former team also pays the other half and that money goes against their salary cap).

  • Wags Sep 12, 9:33 a.m.

    Contract wise...What is the rule on him missing the entire season? Does he receive his full contact for the year? Is it still a full hit on the salary cap?

  • caniacman Sep 12, 9:06 a.m.

    + him being out for the full year helps the Canes, they can put him on IR which will get them cap relief, that means his full salary will not count against the cap which gives them some money for a Hainsey or Morrow. Not sure if they get the full salary or just a part of it. So putting him on the shelf for the full year instead of just half helps them.

  • daveroe77 Sep 12, 7:40 a.m.

    "But this is the NHL, so there is no guarantee that the powers that be will know how to implement a change that will help the game." Completely agree, Mike. Especially when the play Joni was hurt on was meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I found it easy to modify that quote to another aspect of this situation:

    "But this is the 'Canes, so there is no guarantee that Jim Rutherford will know how to implement a change that will help the team."

  • possumsoup Sep 12, 5:44 a.m.

    He stays in Penalty Box all time anyway. He want be missed.

More...

 

 

  • The Logan Zone

    Tomorrow at 11:30 am on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Washington at Philadelphia

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Oakland at New England

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Denver at Seattle

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Green Bay at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Columbus

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Kansas City at Baltimore

    Tomorrow at 4:30 pm on 620am

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
9th
PIT 0
MIL 0
 
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
 
7th
MIN 2
CLE 7
 
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
 
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
 
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
 
6th
SDP 3
SFG 0
 
5th
ANA 3
TEX 0
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
 
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
4th
SMISS 21
APPST 14
 
2nd
TOL 20
BST 3
 
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
4th
CIN 31
UMO 24
 
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
 
4th
LSU 16
MSST 34
 
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
 
4th
ARKST 14
UTST 14
 
4th
SALABAMA 6
GASO 21
 
3rd
WVU 27
OKLA 31
 
4th
VANDY 24
SCAR 27
 
3rd
NEB 31
MIAMI 21
 
3rd
NMST 21
NMU 24
 
3rd
HOU 27
UNLV 7
 
3rd
FSU 10
CLEM 10
 
1st
ARZ 0
CAL 14
 
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0