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 remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic