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Joni Pitkanen

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^ Could have added Cam Fowler to that list several months ago!

Although I will readily admit, I was scared $#itless that that's exactly what the Canes were going to do with that 7th pick....and I did not like Fowler, not even a little bit. I hoped and begged that JR passed him over.

Glad I was right! ;)

I was in the wanting cam fowler camp- ad while glad skinner has worked out even better, fowler has had a great rookie year, which for "D" man doesn't happen often at the nHL level. Fowler is 2nd to Skinner in asists with 21 to skinner's 22 and has 6 goals.. 27 points for a rookie "D" is very good, his -15 needs work, but he is showing all the signs of being a very good "D" man for a long time

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With the Canes track record of early drafted d-men...I have my doubts that Fowler would have produced those numbers playing here. I know it's impossible to predict, but....

Hindsight is always 20-20.

But I read report after report on Fowler that said he was soft, and much better on the offensive end of the ice than he was on his own end. And so far his stats seem to back that up. I watched him play in the World Jrs last year, and came away totally unimpressed with his game. I think a lot of people felt that way....a LOT of teams passed him up in the draft. The Rangers, being the biggest head scratcher of the bunch, drafting a pure goon.

The last thing the Canes needed in that draft was another d-man who doesn't play defense!

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yeah still have not understood what the rangers were thinking.. that was the oddest head scratcher of the first round last year- and you may be right he never becomes a stay at home "D' man, just saying he has had a very good rookie year- and when most "D" man take 2-3 years to even make a mark at the NHL level, Fowler has been a pleasnt suprise- while obviously still needing work on his "D" and toughness

Edited by canes-in-7

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With the way Pitkanen is playing right now, we'd be lucky to get a bag of pucks and some new skates for Stormy. Everyone has figured him out. He has no real defensive game either positionally or physically. He constantly turns the puck over and his offense is a slap pass to the opposite circle or a trip around behind the net where he turns it over. Can't figure out how he's only a -1 right now.

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It is becoming apparent Joni has lost his confidence. I wasn't a big fan of the trade that brought him here so it is difficult to be objective but I think Pitkanen has plenty of talent. I also think he is best when allowed to play his offensive game of pinching and joining the rush. Our system really doesn't fit this style. It appears to me Joni is trying to fit our system, trying to do what is asked but every mistake he makes is now magnified. He is paired with a young partner that is still learning and our forwards don't get back that well to cover when he joins the rush. Joni can sometimes be his own worst enemy letting his frustration show or appearing to take the night off when frustrated. But over all I think he is still one heck of a player.

If he were to stay it wouldn't bother me but I think he will be traded or allowed to walk at the end of the season. This is a talented player who needs a fresh start with a team that can let him play his free lance style.

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Here is a legitimate question for everyone, and I'll offer my opinion first:

How much longer are you willing to wait for Joni to get it together, or play up to your expectations?

IMO we've been waiting awhile now. The Trade Deadline is 3 weeks away, and UFA status lurks. If he doesn't snap out of it, I'd move him for anything I can get. Why? The Canes are now above the cut line thanks to many individuals giving that little extra whatever. Every player is needed, and there is no room to worry about laggards. Look down the line at Corvo (at 1/2 Joni's price), White, and Harrison. McBain probably played as hard last night as I've seen all season...and then there's Joni. This franchise can move forward in a very big way in the next 2 months. It needs no passengers, but instead a little more from every player.

I thought it was very telling that White played a bit with Joni last night. That tells me that 2 puck moving defenders together will be history, and I don't see McBain going anywhere. IMO Joni is on thin ice.

Edited by Manwolf

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Here is a legitimate question for everyone, and I'll offer my opinion first:

How much longer are you willing to wait for Joni to get it together, or play up to your expectations?

That is indeed a legitimate question. If we can't get a decent return I would be willing to wait until the end of the season. Give the young prospects down in the Charlotte incubator a little more time to mature. I realize that would mean only saving money but that could be used to pick up a FA. If Joni does stay then he better fit in next season.

I also think he is on thin ice and for reasons stated in my previous post I don't expect him to be back and do expect he is the object of some trade talks going on now.

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Here is a legitimate question for everyone, and I'll offer my opinion first:

How much longer are you willing to wait for Joni to get it together, or play up to your expectations?

Funny you should ask. A friend and I spent a good deal of time talking about that very subject at the game last night.

I apologize for sounding like a broken record but....I still believe we have forced Pitkanen into a #1 defensive role that I think he's not suited for. Until we acquire that true #1 guy to be the real rock of this defense, I believe we will continue to struggle defensively. And I define "struggle" as inconsistency on the back end.

I think Pitkanen is moved, if AND only if we can bring in a solid defensive guy via trade. Unless this happens, I don't see JR making a move with Pitkanen. There's no way I see us bringing up anyone from Charlotte to fill that void. Those who believe there's an answer in the system can offer up those possibilities.

I also off up this - Pitkanen has 100 points in 2+ years in a Canes uniform. How soon we forget?

I also go back to JR's comments at the start of the season. He said (paraphrasing) that he expected this team to be a competitve (maybe non-playoff) team, and that his expectaitons were to a future where we would be able to make a serious push in the next couple of years.

Just don't see us moving Pitkanen for "anything we can get" unless we make ourselves better going into the next couple of seasons.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Funny you should ask. A friend and I spent a good deal of time talking about that very subject at the game last night.

I apologize for sounding like a broken record but....I still believe we have forced Pitkanen into a #1 defensive role that I think he's not suited for. Until we acquire that true #1 guy to be the real rock of this defense, I believe we will continue to struggle defensively. And I define "struggle" as inconsistency on the back end.

I think Pitkanen is moved, if AND only if we can bring in a solid defensive guy via trade. Unless this happens, I don't see JR making a move with Pitkanen. There's no way I see us bringing up anyone from Charlotte to fill that void. Those who believe there's an answer in the system can offer up those possibilities.

I also off up this - Pitkanen has 100 points in 2+ years in a Canes uniform. How soon we forget?

I also go back to JR's comments at the start of the season. He said (paraphrasing) that he expected this team to be a competitve (maybe non-playoff) team, and that his expectaitons were to a future where we would be able to make a serious push in the next couple of years.

Just don't see us moving Pitkanen for "anything we can get" unless we make ourselves better going into the next couple of seasons.

I agree with most of your points. Actually trading Joni with the playoffs looming would be a very high profile, risky move. It could be interpreted by the team and fans as giving up on this season. If he is traded for mere draft picks it would THE only way TO interpret it. Even if the trade were good on paper there is the chemistry thing and the psychological thing. So even a seemingly brilliant move could backfire this year.

The only way i can see moving Joni while we're still in the hunt would be a major trade with multiple players likely involved. Coming our way in the deal would have to at least be a very solid veteran shutdown guy, even if he were also to be an UFA. But in that trade JR would have to gain something more (?draft pick, prospect?). Or if JR could package Joni plus and get a solid veteran shutdown guy with time left on the contract. That kind of move would seem to make the most sense. Not sure if it is feasible.

Since the range for a deal that clearly should not hurt this year is narrow, i doubt he is moved, unless we free fall out of the hunt. Really doubt that happens, but if it does it would have to be the next several games which will be tough ones.

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This is a talented player who needs a fresh start with a team that can let him play his free lance style.

what is neede is a trade that benefits both the players/teams,similar to the trade with the Blackhawks

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Joni can sometimes be his own worst enemy letting his frustration show or appearing to take the night off when frustrated. But over all I think he is still one heck of a player.

If he were to stay it wouldn't bother me but I think he will be traded or allowed to walk at the end of the season. This is a talented player who needs a fresh start with a team that can let him play his free lance style.

That's what I am seeing too. He seems to need to be paired with either a solid stay-at-home type (Gleason, Seids in the past) and/or a younger player that will defer to him. When his partner or others don't do what he wants he starts getting frustrated and taking stupid penalties. When he is on and happy he's solid, but that has been happening less and less lately. Compare to Corvo who has really turned it up.

I agree with most of your points. Actually trading Joni with the playoffs looming would be a very high profile, risky move. It could be interpreted by the team and fans as giving up on this season. If he is traded for mere draft picks it would THE only way TO interpret it. Even if the trade were good on paper there is the chemistry thing and the psychological thing. So even a seemingly brilliant move could backfire this year.

That sounds a little extreme. If Joni is moved we have a replacement on our roster - Ian White. He wasn't brought here to sit on the 3rd pair with Harrison (though they have great chemistry and have been paying more than the typical 3rd pairing would). He's yet another who just couldn't develop chemistry with Joni. Give White a chance to shine and see what he can do. He's slipped a bit since leaving Toronto, but he's still young too. Bring up Carson/Borer/Rodney if we don't get someone back in the deal and see what happens. Then you have a decent picture if White is a keeper for next year. Not the worst thing that could happen, eh?

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I agree with remkin that moving Pits is risky. There is a morale factor involved here, with the Finnish connection and all. What happens to Ruutu and Juice's game if their countryman is sent packing?

At the same time, regardless of our standings, you have to wonder whether Pits is worth the $4m+ to re-sign after the season. Is it really worth keeping him here from early March through a potential playoff run (one that none of us can see progressing beyond maybe the 2nd round) if he's going to sign elsewhere?

Not that I think we should take "just anything" but I'd hate to be basically renting Pits from 3/1 through 4/30 and not get anything in return if he walks.

That's as bad if not worse than the Whitney non-deal from last year.

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What we don't know is whether or not Pitkanen has made it known that he really wants to stay, and if JR said, fine, I won't trade you and we'll come to terms in the summer. It's happened before and not that out of the ordinary.

I think JR and the coaching staff have been happy with Pitkanen up until the last month. And I don't believe for a second that JR will trade him away for anything less than a 1st rounder or a couple of top prospects.

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I agree with remkin that moving Pits is risky. There is a morale factor involved here, with the Finnish connection and all. What happens to Ruutu and Juice's game if their countryman is sent packing?

At the same time, regardless of our standings, you have to wonder whether Pits is worth the $4m+ to re-sign after the season. Is it really worth keeping him here from early March through a potential playoff run (one that none of us can see progressing beyond maybe the 2nd round) if he's going to sign elsewhere?

Not that I think we should take "just anything" but I'd hate to be basically renting Pits from 3/1 through 4/30 and not get anything in return if he walks.

That's as bad if not worse than the Whitney non-deal from last year.

I myself(just my opinion) have to disagree with you guys about the "risky" part of trading Pits. The moral( 2 other players) of moving a player because of where he is from should have absolutely nothing to do with their game.They are professionals & The Canes are a very good organization as far as players feelings. It comes down to the players game, not where they are from.That being said ,if Pits isn't on top of his game, they have to move him to make the team better, that will completely help the moral of the entire team not just 2 other Finns. Better to trade him and get some kind of return than get nothing. Most players in a contract year really step up their game and since Pits (IMO) isn't doing that, to me that means he wants to go somewhere else. If he wanted to stay here he would be at the top of his game in a contract year and not where he is now! AGAIN JUST MY OPINION!

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^ That's not at all how Rutherford operates.

And there were a LOT of people who though that trading Whitney last year was a bad idea, because of WHO he was. It's a two way street.

Hopefully he learned from what happened with Ray, but I don't think Pits has a no trade clause like Ray did.(Ithink)

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Yanno, I don't really think Pitkanen has been THAT bad. Now, I'm not ignorant enough to say he's played great, because he hasn't. He's under the microscope. Every time he touches the puck, everyone is waiting for the mistake to come. It starts to warp your perception of a player. So next game, try to look at all the defenseman equally, not just Pits. I think that you'll see that he doesn't make any more mistakes than the rest of our defense, and that includes Corvo and Gleason.

Now, as far as trading him... there are many speed bumps on that route. First of all, if JR wants to re-sign Pitkanen he simply shuldn't trade him. Those "I'll trade you now and you can re-sign in the summer" do happen, but not THAT often. Secondly, if JR does trade Pits, remember that he's a rental. You don't typically get a 1st round pick and a prospect for a rental unless they are REALLY a premiere player. We don't have one of those except Staal and Ward... maybe Skinner. If JR has no intention of re-signing Pitkanen, he should get what he can get for him and move on, unless he thinks we can go deep. Pitkanen was almost irreplaceable in The Canes' last playoff series with Jersey.

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When I say risky, the morale thing is only part of it. Joni's style for good or bad has been on the team for a while now. They are used to him. The coach still throws him over the boards a lot. We assume that a stay at home guy will make the team better, but take away Joni's points and assists, and we dang well better play better defense. He is not playing great lately, but he has been a key piece, and has played very well over all. Moving him would change the style and flow of things. Not saying it couldn't work, but as the team seems to be playing well, might be a risk. This assumes someone decent on the back end coming back to us in a trade.

Now if you're talking about trading him for a draft pick with Carson or the like coming up while we're still in serious contention for the playoffs, then that is a very real HUGE risk. Yah, they're all professionals, blah blah blah, the fact is that professionals are still human beings with emotions and that react to things. Following this team has proven that if I had any doubt, which I don't. To say that management saying to this year's team, "we know you've worked your *edit* off to get to this point, but sorry, we need to pile up draft picks for the team of 2 years from now, so were just going to trade your best defenseman and bring up a guy from the minors for your playoff run, but please, keep working your *edit* off and have a nice day", would have no effect and they'd just keep on plugging like nothing happened in a game where effort is crucial and on a team where it is even more crucial, is to say that this is a very long run-on sentence that I just can't seem to end.

But you get my point.

Trading Joni for a strong stay at home guy at the end of his contract and a pick might be a bold move. Trading him just for a pick would be a mistake if we are still in it.

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IMO, we're not watching the same player. I can't agree with his play being not that bad, or Joni being our best defenseman. His best play was two tears ago in the ECF run, and I wouldn't pay him the current $4.5MM, never mind what he'll seek in Free Agency. I'm a seller.

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From Chip Alexander (N&O)

Pitkanen hopes to stay

RALEIGH -- Joni Pitkanen is the Carolina Hurricanes' highest-paid defenseman. He can skate like the wind, he's strong, he plays big minutes, and he can produce points.

In other words, there's much to like about the Finn's game.

And yet, Pitkanen at times can be a hockey enigma. He will pass up a good shot for a tough pass. He doesn't have a lot of the big, bone-crunching hits. He will float out of position defensively, leaving others to scramble.

canes0208.ART_GBR28657I.1+IMG_canes02.jpg_3_1_ER21V80P.JPG.embedded.prod_affiliate.156.jpg

Full article here

Sounds like Joni is getting a final chance to prove himself before final trade plans are decided. I'm rooting for him to step up but I may have to disagree with Maurice, I think he's already developed into what he's going to be. Sometimes its a good things and sometimes, not so much. Interesting that he was compared to Sandis Ozolinsh, one the greatest disappointments for this franchise.

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I think Mo was trying to be supportive, I think what Mo really thinks of him will come out after he's gone whenever that is. Much like O-zone.

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I think Mo was trying to be supportive, I think what Mo really thinks of him will come out after he's gone whenever that is. Much like O-zone.

That, and make him look a little more desirable if he does end up ion the trade block.

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Well, there you have it. Joni wants to sign here.

The Canes like the guy.

I'll be SHOCKED if JR trades him.

I wouldn't be that quick to assume anything. We've had other players say they wanted to stay that JR came out and said they'd like to have stay that ended up leaving one way or another. Erik Cole was the last guy in this situation that ended up heading to Edmonton unless I'm not remembering things correctly. Ray Whitney, while not exactly the same situation as Joni's is another player that comes to mind.

I read this as if he wants to stay, he's getting his chance and better step up to the plate soon. Only problem is what's been discussed over and over by everyone, who can JR get to fill his role at this point in time if they decide to move him. I think that will play a bigger role in deciding what to do with Joni as the trade deadline looms. JR might not be able to find a replacement that makes them immediately better but at the very least, he needs to find someone that doesn't make things worse.

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