Aug 5, 2014, 10:19 PM EDT
Joni Pitkanen missed all of last season recovering from a severely broken heel, and it doesn’t sound as though the recuperation process has advanced much.
In a brief interview with Finnish news outlet Kaleva, Pitkanen said he’s a “long way” from returning to play, noting that the injury hasn’t shown much improvement and he also hasn’t resumed skating.
This development comes as a bit of a surprise. In March, a statement — which seemed totally unprompted — was released by the ‘Canes on Pitkanen’s behalf, the first real comment issued by the Finn since shattering his heel in a game against Washington in April of ’13:
“I’ve been working with Raleigh Orthopaedic throughout this season with the hope of returning to play hockey. There is no timetable as of now, but I’ve been making progress with my rehab and it remains my goal to resume my professional hockey career.
“It’s been frustrating to be away from the ice, but I want to thank all of the people who have expressed support throughout the season.”
Further compounding Pitkanen’s situation is the fact his three-year, $13.5 million deal with Carolina expired on July 1, meaning he’s currently an unrestricted free agent.
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 2
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 12
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 63
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 31
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 13
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (67)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)