Report: Pitkänen May Be Done For the Season

By Bill Meltzer

Sources in Finland report that Kärpät Oulu defenseman and top Philadelphia Flyers prospect Joni Pitkänen may not play again this season due to a knee injury sustained several weeks ago.

Pitkänen suffered a knee sprain shortly before the Finnish league had a schedule break in early February to accomodate the Sweden Hockey Games tournament. Pitkänen, who was on the Finnish roster for the tournament, had to withdraw. He has not played since.

Pitkänen underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last summer. This injury, which is still not expected to require surgery, is to the other knee.

The official word from Kärpät is that Pitkänen is expected to miss the remainder of the Finnish regular season (which has about two weeks left) but will return for the playoffs. However, a source with second-hand knowledge of the situation said that Pitkänen himself is doubtful of playing again this season.

Efforts are being made to obtain corroboration or denial from the Philadelphia Flyers. Hockey’s Future will continue to follow the story.