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Ilkka Heikkinen: I probably won't be back


                        Unless Ilkka Heikinen plays on Broadway after the Olympic break, don’t expect him back with the organization next season.                        


                        “I think I’m not going to get a one-way contract, not if I play the whole year in the AHL,” a discouraged Heikkinen, 25, told Newsday yesterday after practice in Hartford. “I’m not going to play a second year here. I’ll go back to Europe or maybe Russia.”


                        Heikkinen, who was signed on May 9 for $875,000 and will be a restricted free agent, has seven goals and 21 assists---12 on the power play---for the Pack. “It’s been a tough couple weeks for me and the team (2-8-2 in the last 12). I think we’ve hit a wall.” 


                        In seven games with the Rangers from Dec. 5 to Dec. 19, Heikkinen didn’t hit the scoresheet, averaging about nine minutes a game. The numbers are working against him, he said. “They have their six d and they don’t want to send anybody down.”


                      Head coach John Tortorella liked his physical play, was unhappy about his positioning. The emergence of Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy in camp was the initial detour for Heikkinen, and now the immovability of Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival has forced his hand.  




New York Sports