RE 09-10: Fernando Pisani

Fernando Pisani played a prominent role (when healthy) for the Edmonton Oilers in 2008-09. The results were decidedly uneven and a healthy, effective season is vital to this club’s chances for the second season.

Pisani is an icon in Edmonton sports and if Fernando quits the game tomorrow he’ll be a legend because of that wonderful few weeks in 2006 when he was “in the zone” and a huge difference maker. In fact, that short-handed OT goal (first in NHL history) he scored is probably going to rank as one of the most famous in team history, along with Marchant OT and Gretzky shelf.

New coach Pat Quinn is likely to find that Fernando is a rare man on the Edmonton Oilers: a wide range of skills, capable of playing an important role on special teams and a veteran presence on a team lacking in that area (among forwards). He’ll need to give him better linemates in 09-10 if Quinn expects Pisani to face the vaunt, though.

  • Boxcars: 38gp, 7-8-15, 14pims
  • Shots: 72
  • Plus Minus: -1
  • Corsi: -15.5
  • GF/GA ON: 21-22
  • 5×5/60: 1.81
  • 5×4/60: 3.12
  • Quality of Competition: toughest available
  • Quality of Teammates: 3rd level and dregs
  • FO %: 40.6% in 123 sorties
  • 09-10 Cap Hit: $2.5M (nhlnumbers.com)
  1. What do these numbers tell us? The Corsi number is poor but we need to put it in context. Gabriel Desjardins tells us he was facing tough opposition with secondary help and that is a recipe for disaster. His 5×5 scoring rates are surprisingly good compared to the rest of the team and the boxcars are fine although sliced in half due to injury.
  2. How could the numbers be better? Almost any other situation would have garnered better numbers. Pisani has been mentor (Stoll-Torres line) and part of a veteran checking group when required, but this past season was “number soup” as turnover on each line happened early and often.
  3. What about Center? You can see why they thought about it, that hole is still there from last fall for crying out loud. Pisani is most effective on the wing and for this club the mentor role might be the better decision. Have a couple of the younger hires watch a guy who always has a plan whenever he gets the puck. It’s a thing of beauty.
  4. Will Quinn continue to play him against tougher opposition? I suspect it’ll be either Pisani or Quinn might run power v. power with Hemsky’s line. There’s also a train of thought among Oiler fans that Quinn will just roll the 4 lines. Should that happen, Pisani might have a career season if he can stay healthy. It should be mentioned Pisani wasn’t an “own zone” monster ala Horcoff and Brodziak this past season. Pisani had a 93-93 total in terms of end zone numbers.
  5. What Else? I’ve never mentioned it because it’ll sound like I’m picking on a guy who had cancer, but Fernando Pisani came back from a big, big hole in order to continue his career. The NHL passing him over exposes their awards for what they are: a popularity contest centered in the east and housed in Toronto. What a fucking joke. The 2008 Masterton belongs to Fernando Pisani and I don’t care what it says on the trophy.
  6. How important is Pisani to this team? He’s extremely important but due to health concerns the Oilers are probably thinking about life after Fernando. He’s a UFA after this season and might be dealt at the deadline or earlier if the team fails. He’s a born Red Wing, if it comes to that.

Quick Facts

  • 05-06 5×5 per 60m: 1.84
  • 06-07 5×5 per 60m: 1.39
  • 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 1.55
  • 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.81

Predictions Past 08-09

  • Predicted: 77gp, 17-19-36 (.468 per game)
  • Actual: 38gp, 7-8-15 (.395 per game)

Prediction for 2009-10: 60gp, 14-14-28 (.467 per game)

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