NEWS

Oilers obtain Pitkanen and Sanderson

Sunday, 01.07.2007 / 6:53 PM / News
By Staff Writer
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Oilers obtain Pitkanen and Sanderson
Joni Pitkanen
Oilers defenceman reflects on the trade that brought him to Edmonton.  
 LAUNCH MEDIA PLAYER (wma) | LAUNCH PODCAST PLAYER (mp3)
Press Conference: Lowe and MacTavish
GM Kevin Lowe and head coach Craig MacTavish talk about the Pitkanen/Sanderson trade.
 LAUNCH MEDIA PLAYER (wma) | LAUNCH PODCAST PLAYER (mp3)

Joni Pitkanen
The Edmonton Oilers have obtained defenceman Joni Pitkanen, left winger Geoff Sanderson and a third round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul.

Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe says “We are pleased to have Joni and Geoff join the Oilers. Joni is a talented young defenceman with a proven track record. He possesses the offensive skills we have been seeking on the blueline and look forward to having him in the lineup. Geoff brings a long list of accomplishments to the Oilers, foremost is the experience and leadership he possesses as a veteran of the NHL.”

“As happy as we are with the addition of Pitkanen and Sanderson, it is difficult to see Jason leave us,” continued Lowe. “Jason has been an exceptional leader and member of the Oilers and has served proudly as our team captain. He and Wendy have also served this community very well and their contributions to the City of Edmonton will have a lasting effect.”

The first choice (fourth overall) of the Flyers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Pitkanen was one of the leaders among NHL defencemen in 2006-07. The 6’3”, 210-pound native of Oulu, Finland scored 4-39-43 with 88 PIM in 77 games, establishing single-season career-highs in assists, games and penalty minutes. He was the third leading scorer on the Flyers roster and led Philadelphia in assists and power play assists (17).

Pitkanen has been ranked among the NHL’s top 25 defencemen in scoring in each of the last two seasons. His 43 points this past season ranked him 22nd, while his career-high 13-33-49 in 2005-06 placed him 19th.  He was also among the2006-07 NHL blueline leaders in assists (16th) and ice time (20th with 24:32 minutes per-game). The 23-year-old defenceman has led the Flyers in ice time in each of the last two seasons.

He began his NHL career with the Flyers in 2003-04 and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team that season after scoring 8-19-27 in 71 games. A member of the Eastern Conference Team at the 2004 NHL YoungStars Game in Minnesota, Pitkanen was second among NHL rookies in plus/minus at +15 and was second in scoring among NHL rookie defencemen with his 27 points.

A key member of the Flyers powerplay unit, Pitkanen was tied for second in powerplay scoring in 2006-07 with 1-17-18 and led Philadelphia in powerplay assists. During his rookie season, Pitkanen was ranked second among NHL rookies in powerplay points (5-12-17) and powerplay assists.

Prior to joining the Flyers, Pitkanen played three seasons in the Finnish SM-Liiga with Karpat Oulu, scoring 9-30-39 with 113 PIM in 105 games. He also played three seasons with the Karpat Oulu juniors and twice represented Finland at the IIHF World Junior Championship, winning back-to-back bronze medals in 2002 and 2003. He received the IIHF Directorate Award as the tournament’s best defenceman in 2003.

Pitkanen's Career Statistics:
  Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000-01 Karpat FNL 21 0 0 0 10 2 0 0 0 2
2001-02 Karpat FNL 49 4 15 19 65 4 0 0 0 12
2002-03 Karpat FNL 35 5 15 20 38 -- -- -- -- --
2003-04 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 71 8 19 27 44 15 0 3 3 6
2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms AHL 76 6 35 41 105 21 3 4 7 16
2005-06 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 58 13 33 46 78 6 0 2 2 2
2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 77 4 39 43 88 -- -- -- -- --
  NHL Totals   206 25 91 116 210 21 0 5 5 8

Geoff Sanderson
A two-time NHL All-Star, Sanderson is ranked among the NHL’s active leaders in career games, goals, assists and points. In his 16 NHL seasons, the 35-year-old native of Hay River, Northwest Territories has scored 352-335-687 with 495 PIM in 1,063 games with Hartford, Carolina, Vancouver, Buffalo, Columbus, Phoenix and Philadelphia and has played only one game in the minors - a playoff game for the Springfield Indians of the AHL in 1990-91.

The 6’0”, 190 pound left wing finished sixth on the Flyers’ scoring list in 2006-07 with 11-18-29 in 58 games and was fifth in goals. He led the Flyers with a seven-game scoring streak, netting 5-4-9 from November 11th to 22nd. Sanderson netted his 350th career NHL goal in a 5-3 road win versus the New York Rangers on February 17th.

Beginning his NHL career with the former Hartford Whalers in 1990-91, Sanderson scored his first career goal in his first NHL game versus Buffalo on March 30, 1991. Since then he has scored 25-or-more goals in seven of his 15 full NHL seasons, including two 40-goal seasons. Sanderson has led his team in scoring on three occasions. He scored a career-high 46-43-89 in 1992-93 to lead Hartford and topped the Whalers for a second time in 1996-97 with 36-31-67. With Columbus in its inaugural NHL season in 2000-01, he led the Blue Jackets in scoring with 30-26-56 and registered the team’s first hat trick and first overtime goal.

In six appearances in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Sanderson has scored 9-10-19 with 32 PIM in 55 games. He tallied 4-6-10 in 19 games during the 1999 post-season, helping Buffalo advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

One of only a handful of players from the Northwest Territories to play in the NHL, Sanderson represented Canada at the 1993, 1994 and 1997 IIHF World Championships, winning a gold medal in 1994 and 1997.

Sanderson's Career Statistics:
  Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1988-89 Swift Current Broncos WHL 58 17 11 28 16 12 3 5 8 6
1989-90 Swift Current Broncos WHL 70 32 62 94 56 4 1 4 5 8
1990-91 Swift Current Broncos WHL 70 62 50 112 57 3 1 2 3 4
1990-91 Hartford Whalers NHL 2 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0
1990-91 Springfield Indians AHL -- -- -- -- -- 1 0 0 0 2
1991-92 Hartford Whalers NHL 64 13 18 31 18 7 1 0 1 2
1992-93 Hartford Whalers NHL 82 46 43 89 28 -- -- -- -- --
1993-94 Hartford Whalers NHL 82 41 26 67 42 -- -- -- -- --
1994-95 Hartford Whalers NHL 46 18 14 32 24 -- -- -- -- --
1994-95 HPK Hameenlinna FNL 12 6 4 10 24 -- -- -- -- --
1995-96 Hartford Whalers NHL 81 34 31 65 40 -- -- -- -- --
1996-97 Hartford Whalers NHL 82 36 31 67 29 -- -- -- -- --
1997-98 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 40 7 10 17 14 -- -- -- -- --
1997-98 Vancouver Canucks NHL 9 0 3 3 4 -- -- -- -- --
1997-98 Buffalo Sabres NHL 26 4 5 9 20 14 3 1 4 4
1998-99 Buffalo Sabres NHL 75 12 18 30 22 19 4 6 10 14
1999-00 Buffalo Sabres NHL 67 13 13 26 22 5 0 2 2 8
2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 68 30 26 56 46 -- -- -- -- --
2001-02 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 42 11 5 16 12 -- -- -- -- --
2002-03 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 34 33 67 34 -- -- -- -- --
2003-04 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 67 13 16 29 34 -- -- -- -- --
2003-04 Vancouver Canucks NHL 13 3 4 7 4 7 1 1 2 4
2004-05 Servette Geneve Swiss-A 9 4 1 5 29 -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 2 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 75 25 21 46 58 -- -- -- -- --
2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 58 11 18 29 44 -- -- -- -- --
  NHL Totals   1063 352 335 687 495 55 9 10 19 32
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