– Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen
today issued the following statement as he continues to rehabilitate from a heel injury suffered last season:
“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.”
Please utilize the quote above as Pitkanen’s official statement. He will not be available for follow-up interviews.
Pitkanen, 30, suffered a broken left calcaneus (heel) bone on April 2, 2013, against Washington. He missed the remainder of the 2012-13 season and will be out for the entire 2013-14 season. The Oulu, Finland, native has scored 57 goals and earned 225 assists in 535 career NHL regular-season games with Philadelphia, Edmonton and Carolina, since beginning his NHL career in 2003-04. Since the team’s relocation in 1997, Pitkanen (6’3”, 210 lbs.) ranks third among defensemen in assists (116) and points (140), tied for fourth among club defensemen in goals (24) and eighth among team blueliners in games played (266).