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[Discussion] Signing Joni Pitkanen

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I know, I know, signing Pitkanen's a risk considering he's coming off a major injury after breaking his heel bone and it's been a year plus (April 2013) since he played so it totally depends on if he even can or wants to. If we could get him to come on a PTO, I'd prefer that to just offering him a contract outright, but I think someone would sign him for a deal before that.

Here's the trick to why this might work though:


Re: Pitkanen. He's eligible for performance bonuses if he signs a one-year deal because he a.) has 400 career GP and b.) spent 100 days on IR.

He's only 30 so wouldn't otherwise have qualified for bonuses, but if he is healthy enough to play we could sign him on a ~$1M contract that have bonuses added on for games/minutes played and stats that could add up to maybe $3-4M. After such a long layoff, it's unlikely he achieves the maximum amount, but in the event we were to trade one of our defencemen to clear cap or get help elsewhere, I think he'd be an interesting pick up.

At 6'3", 210 he's a big defender who can actually defend. He's better known for his offence though, having been a 30-40 point defenceman over his career. It remains to be seen how the injury has affected his skating, but he's been a effective puck moving defenceman in the past.

Again it depends on if we have opened up a spot and if he's capable of even playing, but what are your thoughts on bringing him in if that's the case?

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As odd as it sounds, I honestly would not be surprised to still see a team offer him around $3-4 million if it was to be a 1 year deal.

Sure he guy has injury problems, but he's proven to be a very good top 4 guy and depending on how his injury effects him long term, he could still be in the prime of his career.

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One year, $2 mil. max. Who knows, we might have another, left handed Sami Salo on our hands with that injury record of his. Who knows if he'll be effective still? I think he might be in the same shoes as Ryan Whitney, who was an effective offensive D-man for awhile but whose career's just fallen off of a cliff in recent memory.

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