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.
We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.
— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff