Mar 21, 2012, 1:05 PM EST
Joni Pitkanen‘s long battle back from a concussion is at an end.
The Carolina Hurricanes activated Pitkanen from injured reserve and will have him back in the lineup tonight against the Florida Panthers. Pitkanen missed 44 games with a concussion and has been out since early December. As Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller tells Chip Alexander of the News & Observer, he’s more than happy to have him back.
“He’s ready to go,” Muller said after the morning skate. “I talked to him this morning and he feels good mentally, physically. He’s excited and it will be fun to get him back.”
As we’ve seen with concussion recovery all over the league, it makes everyone a little nervous to see them play that first game back but Muller says there won’t be any limits on his minutes. With the Hurricanes on the absolute fringes of the playoff picture, rounding out their defense with perhaps their best player makes for a nice boost. With rookie Justin Faulk doing a lot of the heavy lifting of late, Pitkanen’s return is a big lift for them.
- Report: Salary cap ‘may be around’ $70 million next season 13
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 3
- Report: Laviolette a candidate to replace Capuano 19
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory 52
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 57
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 89
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 10
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 60
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (89)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (60)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (57)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)