Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2014 NHL Free Agents - Joni Pitkanen

Joni Pitkanen, currently with the Carolina Hurricanes, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013-14 NHL season.  The big Finnish defenseman has spent the last five NHL seasons with the Hurricanes, establishing himself as one of the best blue line set up men in the league.  Over his NHL regular season career, he has put up 282 points, most of which have been helpers, in 535 contests.

Unfortunately, Pitkanen has suffered injuries to his heel over the last two seasons and he is expected to miss all of 2013-14 with his injury.

Outlook
Given his recent injuries, the Hurricanes will not be quick to re-sign Pitkanen to a long-term deal.  He will most likely hit the open market in 2014 and need to prove that he is fully recovered from his injury.  His price tag will almost assuredly be lower than his current AAV of $4.5 million.  Look for the tough defenseman to come out swinging and prove to all that he can and will rebound as an even better player than he was before the injury.

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