Pitkanen missed the 2006 Olympics due to injury and is scheduled to make his Olympic debut in Vancouver. The Oulu, Finland native has international experience, helping his nation win back-to-back bronze medals at the 2002 and 2003 World Junior Championships. He received the IIHF Directorate Award as the tournament’s top defenseman in 2003.
I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team. A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.
— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres