Skip to content

Carolina Blue: Pitkanen (heel) to miss entire season

Sep 11, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT

pitkanengetty Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes were dealt a major blow on Tuesday as GM Jim Rutherford announced defenseman Joni Pitkanen would miss the 2013-14 season with a broken left calcaneus (heel) bone suffered last season on an icing crash against Washington.

Pitkanen, 29, recently underwent a CT scan on the heel to see how he was recovering. The injury was extremely severe — Pitkanen reportedly broke his heel in eight different places — and was similar to the one ex-Washington forward Pat Peake suffered in 1996, one that all but ended his career.

Here’s more, from the Washington Times:

Peake played just five more games after his heel bone broke in 14 places and twisted. Pitkanen’s broke in eight places but didn’t move, Peake said. That’s considered a positive.

“Your heel bone, the best way to describe it is like an egg. So if you give it a good flick or a thump, it just kind of splinters and cracks like that,” Peake said. “And it just goes right around the whole way. That’s exactly what happened to his. It’s such an odd injury.”

Peake said it’s an injury common to construction workers who fall from two or three stories and people in car accidents who slam on the brakes. In hockey, Peake was the prime example before Pitkanen.

Pitkanen was a valuable member of the ‘Canes blueline. Prior to injury-plagued 2012-13 and 2011-12 seasons, he put up 81 points in 143 games between 2009-11, averaging close to 26 minutes per night.

What’s more, the Finnish rearguard is in the final year of his three-year, $13.5 million deal. He’s set to become a UFA at season’s end and will be facing an uphill struggle to find work, considering he’s only played sporadically over the last three seasons.

And, just to add further insult to injury, the heel break will keep Pitkanen from representing Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He was one of the 16 defensemen named to the evaluation camp roster in July.

Related: NHL to implement hybrid icing next season if trial period goes well

Latest Posts
  1. Former NHL forward Berezin arrested for alleged fraud

    Jul 29, 2015, 10:40 PM EDT

    Sergei Berezin Getty Images

    He played in 502 games, primarily with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  2. Coyotes sign German League standout goalie Treutle

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:12 PM EDT

    Niklas Treutle Getty Images

    The 24-year-old gives agreed to an entry-level deal.

  3. Shero: Buying out Zubrus creates flexibility to add forward

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:27 PM EDT

    Dainius Zubrus Getty Images

    “It really wasn’t about Dainius himself.”

  4. Gillette Stadium will host Bruins-Habs alumni game ahead of Winter Classic

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    2016 Winter Classic Logo

    The contest will air on Dec. 31 while the Classic itself is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

  5. Ryan Murray: ‘I have to show up and prove it’

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT

    Ryan Murray AP

    Staying healthy would help, too.

  6. Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    The Seal Beach Detention Center isn’t exactly Shawshank.

  7. Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars training camp Getty Images

    “I relaxed down there and came back with the same attitude and everything kind of took care of itself.”

  8. Zubrus on unconditional waivers for purpose of terminating his contract

    Jul 29, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Veteran forward had just four goals and six assists in 74 games last season.

  9. Talbot knows he has a ‘great opportunity’ in Edmonton

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Cam Talbot AP

    Can he give the Oilers the goaltending they so badly need?

  10. Report: Rangers prospect Andersson headed to North America

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    ERC Ingolstadt v EV Zug - Champions Hockey League Getty Images

    Spent last season with Lugano in the Swiss League.

  11. Report: Visnovsky considering European options

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: Lubomir Visnovsky #11 of the New York Islanders in action against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. The New York Islanders won, 1-0. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Potentially a move to Switzerland, or the Czech League.

  12. Sabres name Cunneyworth AHL head coach

    Jul 28, 2015, 8:39 PM EDT

    Randy Cunneyworth Getty Images

    Returning him to Rochester for a third time.

  13. Orpik undergoes wrist surgery, should be ready for season opener

    Jul 28, 2015, 7:39 PM EDT

    PA: Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Washington d-man is expected to miss the next two weeks of offseason training.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Stepan (2368)
  2. B. Holtby (2028)
  3. G. Bettman (1943)
  4. A. Larsson (1888)
  5. A. Semin (1589)
  1. L. Couture (1441)
  2. J. Toews (1389)
  3. A. Chiasson (1293)
  4. M. Johansson (1264)
  5. D. Tippett (1061)