The Carolina Hurricanes have been stumbling through the end of the season falling out of a playoff position and creating a dismal outlook on the team’s future. If that wasn’t bad enough, the team lost two valuable members through injury and trade.
The Hurricanes had a tough night Tuesday when the team lost 5-3 to the Washington Capitals. In the loss, Joni Pitkanen left the game with a broken heel. Pitkanen went down into the boards hard during a race for icing against Troy Brouwer. It was obvious Pitkanen was injured the second he hit the wall and had to be carried off the ice in a stretcher.
Pitkanen’s injury has rejuvenated the discussion of hybrid icing that has been an important topic in general manager meetings. If the hybrid icing rule was put in place, the whistle would have been blown before the two got to the boards. Pitkanen is one of the Hurricane’s better defenseman and will be missed for the rest of the season. With Justin Faulk already injured, the Hurricanes defense looks particularly weak for the next few games.
The Canes lost another veteran player in Jussi Jokinen. General manager Jim Rutherford traded Jokinen to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional draft pick. Jokinen has struggled this season with only 11 points and a minus 8 rating. Although the Hurricanes were somewhat forced to move him due to his contract, Jokinen has some of the most memorable moments in the Hurricane’s history and has been one of the team’s best players in the playoffs. If Jokinen plays like he is capable of, this will be another smart move by the Penguins general manager Ray Shero to pick up a forward.