Pitkanen leaves the Worlds


So we’re checking the news at the Oilers News page here at the Nation. It pulls in news articles about anything related to the Oilers from over 30 newspapers around North America. We used to hunt around everywhere for Oilers News, and now can go to one place and save precious time so that we have more precious time to uh… hmm.

Anyway shameless self-promotion aside, we came across a troubling article about our “Future Norris Candidate” Joni Pitkannen. Apparently Pitkannen hurt himself working out in the gym and has left North America for Finland, screwing his National Team over in the process. Finnish Coach Doug Shedden, obviously thinks Pitkanen pulled out of the Worlds because of his contract status.

“When guys are in contract years, they break a thumbnail and they hurt a bit more,” he said. “I don’t know if the commitment was totally there. I didn’t see a lot of commitment in practice. You don’t want to put a gun to anybody’s head to play for their country in the world championship.”

Is this the kind of guy we want to QB the Oilers for the next five years? The Oiler backfield is already blessed with one high-priced prima donna defenceman. Are two really necessary? The statement “You don’t want to put a gun to anybody’s head to play for their country in the world championship” is particularly troubling. One has to wonder about the level of commitment a player will bring on a Sunday Afternoon matinee game in February if he can’t even get up for representing his homeland at the World Championship.

$5 mil for a guy who won’t even go to the Worlds? This decreases his value in our mind.


  • I'm a Scientist!

    The word on Pitkannen all season has been that he just doesn't really care that much. I understand (from decent sources) that he does not bring a lot to the room and is seen as being a minimum effort sort of guy. He obviously has a ton of skill, but is that going to be enough if he is playing for MacT, a coach who clearly is not interested in skill alone?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    the word I hear was that when in Philly Ahl he told a teammate that his true love was soccer and he was only doing the hockey because of the money!

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Well, theoil, Wanye's new to this internet thing.

    You'll note over at the news page that the story broke on the 30th. So yeah, old WG's behind the times.

    Hey Wanye? Get it together so guys like theoil can't snipe you.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    theoil/Spin Cycle

    Bite me – how does that sound? Better yet, bite each other so that I can watch the biting and laugh at you both. Injured, bleeding and bitten.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    "It speaks to his character or lack thereof. Real players, real leaders strap on the skates and play for their country."

    So that makes Chris Pronger and Martin Brodeur unworthy of being given the title "real player" or "real leader"? He's injured. Big deal. I'd rather him skip the worlds so he can be healthy for the Oilers next season.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    //Bite me – how does that sound? Better yet, bite each other so that I can watch the biting and laugh at you both. Injured, bleeding and bitten.//

    Good to know that constructive criticism will be dealt with professionally on this site. Some places you go on the net all you get is juvenile foolishness.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Meh… patience is a virtue. Mr. Hitchcock still keeps him in high regard, thats enough for me. Watchin him when he wasnt hurt he was taking more hits than any other Oiler. Whether or not thats because hes an idiot and puts himself in that position or not is another story. I say relax and lets see what the oil have in store for us next year.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    //For the best everything about everything come to oilersnation.com//


    Question for Robin Brownlee. Why do you want to associate yourself with this stupidity?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    theoil: Your comment about Pitkanen being discussed at HF for a week begged for a pointed response. You got it.

    As for juvenile foolishness, I often wonder if Wanye and the rest of the crew here have sh*t for brains myself, but at least they put that up front and have some fun with it.
    I wouldn't get too preachy about it if I was you. A site like HF prides itself on being a forum for serious fans and that's fine. There's a lot of knowledge and decent debate there, but there's also a lot of stuff that could well be described as "juvenile foolishness."
    I'd rate topics like "Another reason to hate Brownlee" and the variety of takes suggesting I'm a dolt and a fool — by people who don't know what I know — in that category. Of course, it's a free country and people have the right to be wrong, so that's how it goes.

    As to why I associate myself with this "stupidity," it's simple — stacks of money. Big stacks of money. I've sold out. Or not.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Don't listen to the haters Wanye, I heard about this site from my friends who say you are the funniest thing going. Someone with a name as creative as "theoil" needs to lighten up a bit

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Well now, I guess I have to step up and admit I may have cut Pitkanen too much slack. I was the one begging critics to give the coaching staff time to work with him. Pitkan-not sounds like he attended the Inge Hammarstrom school of sissy…

  • I'm a Scientist!

    fyvmvv: To be fair — despite my alleged dislike of Pitkanen — calling him a sissy is going way too far. I know, it's not that much different than my comment about him having the "pain threshold of a four-year-old girl," but I wrote that with tongue in cheek and to emphasize a point I feel has merit.

    NHL players endure a ridiculous amount of wear and tear and ALL of them play through pain and injuries that would have the average guy begging for mercy.
    These are remarkably tough, durable men and it's simply a matter of degree. Some guys are low maintenance — open the gate and let them go. It's like there's no bump or bruise a little ice and some tape can't take care of. Think Jason Smith or Kevin Lowe or Igor Ulanov. Scary tough.

    Other players are higher maintenance, and I think Pitkanen falls into the upper echelon of that category. MacT might have said it best when he referred to a "thoroughbred factor" with Pitkanen. If some players don't feel quite right, if they're banged up, they struggle. I understand how a groin injury would be especially troublesome and distracting for somebody who relies on his skating like Pitkanen does. Janne Niinimaa used to be finicky, too. He always had back problems and he used to wear out Stu Poirier and his massage table. He was high maintenance. Lots of players are.

    Again, though, there aren't any sissies playing in the NHL.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    R.B. – Point made and taken. However, one look at Jason Smith's kisser and I realize that Pitkanen may not be worthy to carry his hockey sticks, world class talent or not.