Tough call, even though he want a run for the cup I would keep Pitkanen ... This guy will be a stud for 15 years ... but the injury ... and the new UFA age ... I would still take Pitkanen. Fantasy wise easily Pitkanen.
**** no. 46 points in 58 games is crazy for a 22 year old defenseman. Those are still great numbers for a 22 year old forward, but for a defenseman it's absolutely nuts. His PPG average was 7th in the league amongst defensemen and no other defenseman in his age group was even close to him in that regard.
The thing about Pitkanen is even with that insane production, he still suffers from what any other 22 year old player will, which is inconsistency. He adds in the consistency, along with an improved Flyers' PP and he's putting up a PPG. In a 6 game stretch earlier this season, Pitkanen recorded 13 points! How many other defensemen in the league can honestly average over two points per game over a 5+ game stretch? Less than a handful and Pronger isn't one of them. Obviously at this point in time, Pronger is still the better defenseman, no doubts about it. I just don't see the gap as being that huge. Pronger, I view as one of the top 3 defensemen in the league. Pitkanen, I think is around top 15-20. It's a big gap, but not a gap worth compromising 9 years over. Personally, I think by the end of Pronger's current contract, Pitkanen will easily be the better player.
Pitkanen just has way too much potential to trade for a guy that is 31. I'm not saying 31 is old or useless, far from it, but giving up nine years of a franchise defenseman is not an extremely wise move for any organization to make. Especially an organization that already has a nice group of young forwards that will look to compete the same time that Pitkanen is reaching his prime, while Pronger, on the other hand, is looking to hang them up.
Sorry for the rant, but some Edmonton fans are pissing me off with their ignorance and wishful thinking. If Pitkanen alone wasn't bad enough, some of them also want one of Carter/Richards, and in some instances a 1st round pick on top of that.