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Joni Pitkanen injury: Hurricanes defenseman leaves ice on stretcher

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Pitkanen suffered a serious leg injury on an icing play.

USA TODAY Sports

Late in the second period of the game between the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen injured his leg on an icing play, and would eventually leave the ice on a stretcher:


That didn't look good at all.

As the Carolina broadcasters discuss in the clip, injuries like this could be prevented if the NHL adopted the hybrid icing system, so expect this latest incident to renew calls for the league to explore such a rule change. It's probably long past time the NHL went to the new system -- the risk to players on plays like this one is just too great.

Pitkanen has one goal and eight assists through 21 games this season for the Hurricanes, and routinely logs over 20 minutes of ice time.

UPDATE: the Hurricanes have confirmed that this injury will put an end to Pitkanen's season:

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