March 16, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen (25) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Tampa Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Joni Pitkanen Likely To Miss Start Of Season

The bad luck in the injury department for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2012-13 season will apparently translate into the 2013-14 year as GM Jim Rutherford announced that Joni Pitkanen is likely to miss the start of the season.

Rutherford said Pitkanen will take a CT test tomorrow for further examination on his ankle.

The Finland native originally broke his ankle in a race for the puck on an icing call in April against the Washington Capitals. He ended up missing the rest of the season and needed surgery on his heel.

Joni Pitkanen’s injury will keep him out longer than expected. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It was expected that Pitkanen would be able to skate again in three months.

However, the heel has not rehabbed as well as Pitkanen or the team would have liked and is now expected to miss the start of the season.

The Canes have six NHL-caliber defenseman on their roster (including Ryan Murphy) without Pitkanen. The absence of the 29-year-old will hurt the Hurricanes transition game and power-play depth.

We’ll see in the coming weeks if Rutherford chooses to add another defenseman through free agency or trade.

Check Cardiac Cane on Twitter throughout the day, tomorrow, for updates on Pitkanen and his CT test.

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