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Scoring defenseman available for pick up

By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Who is the highest scoring defenseman over the past 30 days? Mike Green? Nicklas Lidstrom? Dan Boyle? All good guesses, but wrong none the less.

The answer to this question is likely fantasy free agent Joni Pitkanen of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The former first-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers has accumulated 14 points over the past 30 days (1G, 13A) to lead Lidstrom (13 points) and Green (11 points). He also has thrown in 24 penalty minutes (seventh among defensemen), 44 shots-on-goal (third best among blueliners) and a league- leading seven power-play points.

For the season, Pitkanen has three goals, 30 assists and 64 PIM.

When you add up all the positives and balance it against only one negative, a -3 plus/minus rating over the past month, you get one the best defenseman over that span and certainly the best available defenseman.

Now here's the really good news. Pitkanen is only owned in 55% of all fantasy leagues and could be yours for only the cost of a waiver wire selection.

2009-10 Pitkanen Scoring Statistics - By Month

Month......Gm....G....A..Pts...+/-...PIM..PPP...SOG

October.....7....1....4....5....-5....16....2....14

November...11....0....2....2....-5....10....1....31

December...13....1...10...11....-3....10....5....30

January....14....0...12...12.....0....16....6....38

February....4....1....2....3....-3....12....1....10

02/09 10:30:54 ET


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