Fantasy Impact: Joni Pitkanen will miss the entire 2013-14 regular season with a serious heel injury.
The injury, suffered April 2 and labelled "a broken calcaneous bone", is so serious that there are rumblings in the hockey world that this could threaten the talented Finn's career. Here is the footage of the injury:
Look familiar? Fast forward this clip below of Don Cherry as he shows the Pat Peake injury at the 6:00 mark. Peake never played again. Pointless, the race for icing.
Fantasy Players Impacted: A few things that Carolina could do that would make sense - the trade market (John-Michael Liles from Toronto?) is the best one. But there are free agent defensemen out there (Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney - who is still without a contract even though he's going to the Blues' camp).
In the fantasy guide, the other six defensemen are:
Justin Faulk - Tim Gleason
Andrej Sekera - Jay Harrison
Mike Komisarek - Ryan Murphy
The injury should bump up expectations for Murphy, but it may actually hurt Faulk. According to my fantasy guide (and you would know this if you bought it!) -
"Faulk was actually more productive with Pitkanen around. When Joni was hurt, Faulk managed just eight points in 26 contests. When Joni was healthy, Faulk had seven points in 12 games. So a healthy Pitkanen should mean a more productive Faulk...but an injured Pitkanen would mean a more productive Sekera."
The Sekera reference was due to his production at the end of the 2010-11 seasn when he was the go-to puck mover in Buffalo. I go into more details in the Guide (and will update it with this Pitkanen news shortly), but look at it like this - bringing Liles in won't help Sekera any. But bringing Gilbert in would help Sekera a lot - as he will see more PP time.
In fantasy terms, a lot will depend on who the team brings in to replace him. But as things stand right now, bump Sekera and Murphy up your lists.