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Knee surgery will sideline Joni Pitkanen for about one month

Jan 3, 2012, 3:14 PM EDT

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After being sidelined for about a month, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen will likely miss another four weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

That cannot be the most comforting situation for Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, who gave Pitkanen a three-year, $13.5 million contract extension last summer.

The 28-year-old defenseman has been a workhorse for Carolina ever since he was traded there from the Edmonton Oilers before the 2008-09 season. His point production has been on par for his usual work this season (12 points in 21 games), but his -10 rating shows that he wasn’t immune to the struggles in Raleigh.

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