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-   -   A Thread For Every Player: Joni Pitkanen (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1263611)

tarheelhockey 09-23-2012 09:47 PM

A Thread For Every Player: Joni Pitkanen
 
Joni Pitkanen

(rankings among team defensemen per game)

GP: 30
TOI per game: 22:50 (2nd)
Goals: 5 (1st)
Assists: 12 (1st)
Points: 17 (1st)
PIM: 16 (5th)
Hits: 27 (6th)
Blocked shots: 43 (4th)
Giveaways: 17 (1st)
Takeaways: 9 (4th)

Age: 29 (September 19, 1983)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 213 lbs

Contract status: UFA in 2014
Current contract: 3 years, $13.5M ($4.5M cap hit)
Acquired: Traded by Edmonton for Erik Cole, 7/1/2008


The past few weeks haven't provided much inspiration to keep these things going, but like Jack Burton always says... what the hell.

Pitkanen is a #2 defenseman who plays a #1 on television. The best we can hope for is that 1) Faulk takes developmental strides to become a second solid top-pair guy and complement Joni well enough to make a serviceable top-pair-by-committee or 2) Karmanos gets another wild hair next summer and pursues the Suter/Weber of that FA class. Unti then, it's hard to see Piktanen ever being more than the vaguely-disappointing but efficient enigma he's always been.

Tank King Jimmy 09-23-2012 11:20 PM

Someone yelling "Pitkanen you suck!" while Joni is not on the ice is on my Hurricanes bingo card, but it happens so often I'm thinking of removing it. Thoughts?

Seriously though, he's easily the best d-man on the team, and is good enough in his own end, even though he never hits anybody. He does have bonehead plays every now and then, but he's asked to play a ridiculous amount of minutes with next to no help, so they're understandable.

Carolinas Identity 09-24-2012 01:33 AM

I like him

Anton Dubinchuk 09-24-2012 08:31 AM

He's been injured over the last few seasons but from what he's actually shown he seems to have an improved mindset. I know the last reasonable criticism I've seen of him is that he doesn't shoot the puck, but clearly Lewis or someone got to him and said "you've got a cannon, use it sometimes."

His next full, healthy year will be his best yet, IMO.

Carolinas Identity 09-24-2012 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton Dubinchuk (Post 54550879)
He's been injured over the last few seasons but from what he's actually shown he seems to have an improved mindset. I know the last reasonable criticism I've seen of him is that he doesn't shoot the puck, but clearly Lewis or someone got to him and said "you've got a cannon, use it sometimes."

His next full, healthy year will be his best yet, IMO.

It's win//win, cause he might only need to play 50//60 games this year to play a full season :D

TheBigKahuna 09-24-2012 03:23 PM

Is he an ideal top pairing guy or a #1? No. Is he an ideal top pairing guy in a budget team without a $7 million dollar defenseman? Sure.

He's not perfect. He's not very physical. But he's playing for 2nd pairing money, and eating up minutes like Pavel Brendl eats donuts. With the right partner, he could easily pass as a top pairing guy.

wallym 09-26-2012 03:36 PM

The problem isn't that Joni is a #2 playing the role of a #1. It's that his partner is usually a #7 playing the role of a #2.

sheriff bart 09-27-2012 10:20 AM

There is hardly a player on the Canes' roster who is a bigger enigma that Joni. He is a very talented skater and passer that does an adequate job in his on end. He is on the ice for close to half the game (too much under Mo, I think) and that amplifies his blunders, which happen occasionally. He seems to have some form of Finnish ADD that makes him attracted to shiny objects and squirels at the worst times.

As BK mentioned, what he produces at his salary level is fine. I think that small aspect gets lost in the shuffle. If he's getting top D-man money and producing at his current level, then there is some concern. He is the top earning D-man on the Canes roster, so is he looked at as a top pairing guy...sure. He's still only 29 years old and the old addage about D-men taking longer to develop.


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