Edmonton is a fairly big city but in many ways it is just a series of small towns. Last summer, in each community, rich or poor, there was a heartfelt concern about Fernando Pisani. Some wild rumors ran around town for awhile, but as time marched on we came to know he was suffering from ulcerative colitis and at the very least his career was in jeopardy.
Quoting a March 2008 Edmonton Sun article Pisani stated “It was really, really secondary playing hockey, I just wanted to get better. I tried not to think about my career possibly being over, my focus was just on trying to get healthy and hoping that the meds would work and I would avoid surgery and all that stuff. I was always hopeful that it would work out and I never really accepted the alternative which was surgery.”
He lost 30 pounds, missed the first 26 games of the season. Slowly he got better, well enough to skate, well enough to practice, well enough to play and by season’s end well enough to pop a baker’s dozen and reclaim his position as the smartest winger on the town team.
There are better players on the Edmonton Oilers, but none more admirable. I’ll follow the vote, but any fool can see he’s already a winner.