Jan 26, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT
There was hope in the Hurricanes organization that defenseman Joni Pitkanen would return to the lineup following the All-Star break.
But it seems his laundry list of health issues will keep that from happening.
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford told the News and Observer that Pitkanen — who has been out since suffering a concussion on Dec. 6, then underwent knee surgery on Jan. 6 — might not be available to the team until March.
“He’s coming along,” Rutherford said. “Obviously he’s a real good player for us and hopefully he’ll feel better soon.
“It’s all about the approach to rehab and how you go about the rehab. Based on his rehab, it should be about the first of March when he can get back to skating. Then it would be a week or so before he’s playing.”
Pitkanen’s absence has really hurt the ‘Canes. Prior to getting injured he led all defensemen in ice time (22:35) and was arguably the team’s most skilled blueliner. Pitkanen registered 12 points through 21 games early on in the season, which had him on pace for a 45-50 point season.
An interesting development from the Pitkanen injury is that Rutherford claims it won’t prevent him from being active at the trade deadline. Fellow defensemen Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek are all impending UFAs and believed to be coveted by more than a few playoff-bound teams.
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 4
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 26
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 31
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 38
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 69
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation 61
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- Babcock: Cleary a ‘calculated risk’ after playing last year ‘on one leg’ (70)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Report: Zuccarello wants $4.5M per on new deal, Brassard eyeing $5.5M (58)