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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41 Responses to "RE 09-10: Fernando Pisani"

  1. Racki says:

    It'll be interesting to see how Pisani does this year. Hopefully he can have a completely healthy season. He's always a bit of a wildcard, but it would be nice to see him pot close to 20 again.

    I would actually really love to see him on a line with Horcoff. As far as the other wing, I'd say Moreau but I'd rather he dropped to the "energy" line and play with Stortini and Brule, as that's more his pace. But he could work with Horcoff and Pisani too.

    I predict a good year for Pisani too if Quinn rolls all 4 lines.

  2. Gerta Rauss says:

    I hope we can agree on a contract with Pisani before the deadline.He was paid handsomely for that '06 run,and I think(hope?) he and his agent realize that he's not getting a $2.5M multi year contract moving forward.

    This team needs real NHL players,and he is that in spades.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Pisani depresses me more than any other OIler. First off he has very limited skills, is injury prone to an alarming degree, and to top that all off is overpaid like crazy, thanks to the reality that Kevin Lowe simply doesn't understand the value of money.

    Sorry, but I'm just bored with these pathetic "feel good" stories ala Pisani/Rem Murray – which only smoke over the reality that the Oilers since 199fucking 1 are a pretty shitty hockey team.

    They should buy Pisani out, and put the money to better use. Of course Tambellini won't be the man to do that either, so I can continue to placate myself with delusions that Pat Quinn is going to somehow miraculously solve everything.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Hunter: Exactly how much have you smoked?

  5. doritogrande says:

    The 2008 Masterton belongs to Fernando Pisani and I don't care what it says on the trophy.

    Hear hear. I'll never get over that snub over Jason fucking Blake.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Too much.

    Just look what it's done to me.

  7. shanetrain says:

    Watched that shortie against the 'Canes the other day on youtube.

    Chills man!!

    Gretz freezing Vernon with that roof job whatta goal!

    I hope Pisser is fully heathy as well .. we're gonna need him!

  8. Lowetide says:

    I'd say the Pisani goal, the Marchant goal and the 99 roof shot are likely the all-time goals. McClelland's 1-0 goal is probably the biggest in history overall but came on a simple play.

    Messier's rocket from just inside the blueline against the NY Islanders, the Klima goal and Andy's capper would also rank.

  9. HBomb says:

    I'd say the Pisani goal, the Marchant goal and the 99 roof shot are likely the all-time goals. McClelland's 1-0 goal is probably the biggest in history overall but came on a simple play.

    Messier's rocket from just inside the blueline against the NY Islanders, the Klima goal and Andy's capper would also rank.

    Odd that you mention these seven goals – I was going to mention the four you didn't originally mention here as "in the discussion" for memorable Oiler goals. But could I also nominate "Tikkanen in OT" from 1991?

    Other thoughts:

    - If they're going to run Horcoff/Pisani together against the toughs, I want O'Sullivan as the LW on that line (Moreau should be nowhere higher than line four if this team wants to go anywhere this season).

    - The Masterton going to Blake is, pardon the french, a G'D F-ing joke. Isn't one of the requirements sportsmanship? Jason Blake is a piece of shit who had a form of "cancer" where he didn't even miss a hockey game, but because he played in the Center of the Universe, he was given a trophy he wouldn't deserve. What I wouldn't give to see Scott Stevens come out of retirement and catch that asshole in the trolley tracks with his head down, a la Lindros. (end rant)

    - If they deal him at the deadline, I hope it is to Detroit: I'd love to see Fernando win a Cup. But I'd rather see the Oilers extend him at a reduced rate and him finish his career where it started.

  10. DBO says:

    If we want to be Detroit in terms of creating success, then resigning Pisani at a discount is a good start. Yeah he hasn't been the same, but he's a solid two way player with grit and is an actual NHL player. At $1 mill per season, he'd be our draper/maltby for the next 2-3 years and provide a veteran leader in the bottom 6 that can be depended upon at any point of the game. Our lack of players like Pisani to complement the kids is a big reason we have struggled the past two years. With all of our kids, if our 4th line would have had a few more veterans we would probably have been in the playoffs last year. If Quinn had his way i would bet he would be much happier with this lineup then the current one:

    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    O'Sullivan-Horcoff-Pisani
    Moreau-Malhotra-Grier
    Jacques-Cogliano-Stortini

    That is a bigger, more balanced lineup with way more veterans. That lineup has a better shot at the playoffs then anything we've had since the cup run.

  11. DBO says:

    Those 12 forwards with Pouliot and Macintyre on the bench (Nilsson dealt or in the minors), and resigning Smid for $1.5 mill, Malhotra for $1.25 and Grier for $.750, we still have $1.750 mill in cap space.

    Maybe tambellini is an evil genius who is just waiting it out, and if he can't get the big fish he'll just pick up a few veterans up front, make us bigger, grittier and more experienced and let the kids develop and see where we are at the trade deadline.

  12. boopronger says:

    H-bomb, I couldnt agree more. I knew Blake was gonna win but it still pissed me off. I thought the award was about perseverance and dedication to hockey? That describes Pisani's situation to a t. He lost 30-40 pounds and was days away from carrying a mobile toilet for the rest of his life. To come back and gain his weight and strength back to play the last part of the season is the definition of perseverance.

  13. hunter1909 says:

    I love that Anderson goal that killed Dracula Hextall in 1987.

    Speaking of which, who would y'all prefer, Heatley, or Glenn circa 1987?

  14. hunter1909 says:

    But that Klima goal was absolute fucking pure genius. Who in the fuck would bench a player virtually the entire game, until 3OT?

    I'd rather have the brains of whoever was behind that, than anything rational I can think of.

  15. raventalon40 says:

    "What a fucking joke. The 2008 Masterton belongs to Fernando Pisani and I don't care what it says on the trophy."

    Amen to that, brother.

  16. pboy says:

    Both Beckett and Burnett pitched gems tonight although neither guy will figure in the decision. The BoSox need this one badly tonight, they can't afford to fall too far back of the Yanks.

    The problem with playing Horcoff with Pisani is that it makes Horcoff's contract look like a spectacular overpay. I'm a big Horcoff fan and I think if he's able to play on the first line with Hemmer and get some PP time, he should be able to produce 60+ points. That plus the amazing workload he carries justifies his 5.5 mill cap hit. If he's in a checking role with Pisani, he's not going to come close to producing enough points and let's face it, they could sign Maholtra for 3 years/ 6 million and he would shore up the 3C and be a nice complement to Pie.

  17. boopronger says:

    completely off topic but i cant believe how many free agents are still out there.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=433516

  18. hunter1909 says:

    It must have been one of those Islander endless OT games in the Oiler dynasty years, but I remember seeing some incredibly high maintenance chick aged around 22(pretty old to me at the time lol), sitting in the audience with her date who was avidly following that game…it must have been like 1 in the morning islander time…meanwhile her nibs was monumentally pissed as she was obviously done up like a dog's dinner to go out on the town that night, but the OT was putting the boot into that.

    She was just so pissed off, my young idiot mind took notes re what to look for in women for later reference.

  19. Black Dog says:

    Glenn.

    'There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando'

  20. The Rage says:

    Pisani clearly had to deal with a lot more than Blake. You don't have to be a doctor to know this–how many games did Blake even miss? There is very effective medication for CML, and most patients can remain asymptomatic indefinately.

  21. Bar Qu says:

    When the Oilers nominated Pisani for the Masterton in 2008, Stan Weir clapped once.

  22. 99thoilerfan says:

    Pisani…

    He had lightening in the bottle,
    that cup run.. Wow!

    Now I see the steady hand, and the trustworthy player, that he is.

    Dam shame he had his health issue,
    but good on him for the come back.

    When you compare him to other home town boys
    ( Comrie, Lupul )he is a keeper..
    I would love to see him stay with the Oil..
    Will he take a home town discount ?
    (at a reduced rate, of course)

  23. rickibear says:

    First off he has very limited skills,

    Hunter: The fat cells from your avatar ass are hurting your brain.

    Fernando got a real chance to play on the second pp in 07/08. When horcoff went down. That was when our pp was the best. Pisani on the right side boards; Gagner on the left; grebs and gilbert on the point. with pisani delivering at a 2.35PPG/60 rate which was top 25.

    He is top 20 in PK for forwrds in the league.

    He has a career 13.5 shooting %. Can we make this guy our second line PVP shooting target for nilsson and Horcoff. Plus give him second PP unit time. 220 shots a year would get you 30 goals.

  24. rickibear says:

    Al you O'sullivan guys: do you want him getting 220 shots at 7.5% or fernando At 13.5%.

    Heck:
    Nilsson W/ 120 shots @ 10.1% 12G
    Horcoff W/ 175 shots @ 13.0% 23G
    Pisani W/ 220 shots @ 13.5% 30G

    Please! Please! Please!

  25. Coach pb9617 says:

    but this past season was "number soup" as turnover on each line happened early and often.

    I'm really confused here — how is it that only Pisani gets to use this excuse?

  26. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    How did Pisani play the "toughest opposition"?

    Not according to Behind the Net.

  27. PDO says:

    Pisani was robbed. I haven't watched the NHL awards since, and won't again until an Oiler is in the top 3 for any sort of award… and even then, it's iffy.

    I hope he's signed to a 2-3 year deal at about a million a year and retires an Oiler. It's just the way it should be, and I want an actual NHL player to fucking play his whole career here.

    … though Horcoff looks like a good bet ;).

    Pisani is a beauty, is instant chemistry, and he helps this team win. Guys like him are one of many reasons I hope this team can get in the 2nd season again some time…

  28. Gerta Rauss says:

    completely off topic but i cant believe how many free agents are still out there

    And I think it's going to be like this next summer as well-established NHL players without a place to play…which is why Fernando should be willing to sign at a hometown discount.

    DBO mentioned $1M per season for 2 or 3 years…that sounds about right to me.

    He may get more as a UFA,but there's an equal chance he may get nothing and wind up in the KHL.

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    I'd say the Pisani goal, the Marchant goal and the 99 roof shot are likely the all-time goals. McClelland's 1-0 goal is probably the biggest in history overall but came on a simple play.

    Messier's rocket from just inside the blueline against the NY Islanders, the Klima goal and Andy's capper would also rank.

    You know they are golden when you can read the above,and the instant replay in your mind plays the video.

    Off,off topic-I spent a lot of time in Van during the 'nucks run in '94,and Courtnal scored in game 5 against Calgary…virutally identical to the 99 roof,and I sat upright in my chair and said "that's just like the Gretzky goal in '88"…the roomful of Canucks fans thought I was high,but CBC played both goals before they signed off and the similarity is remarkable.Both against Vernon iirc.

  30. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Which RW played tougher opponents this season?

  31. Lowetide says:

    by the way, there is a baseball game for the ages on right now. I hate baseball's money men with a passion but good lord it's a beautiful game when played as well as Boston and New York are playing it tonight. JD Drew just made an impossible catch in RF.

  32. anonymous says:

    pboy,

    still 0-0. a pair of inches (drew's catch and a rocket down the line) sends in into the 15th.

    feed:

    http://atdhe.net/7345/watch-red-sox-vs-yankees

  33. PDO says:

    LT:

    Amazing how your wife and my GF both knew to shut the game off…

    I'll throw Horcoff in Game 3, and Hemsky in Game 6 (the second time around) into the ring.

    At the very least, up to the time, the two biggest goals the Oilers had scored since 1990…

  34. Gord says:

    I hope he's signed to a 2-3 year deal at about a million a year and retires an Oiler.

    Pisani is Edmonton born & Italian.

    I mention the first part because his roots are in Edmonton. I mention the 2nd part because he has the mindset of many Italians I know.

    Unlike some NHL players who are broke because they invested with scam artists, Fernando invested in Edmonton real estate (as many of my Italian buddies have…)..

    He wants to stay & retire here… ;-)

  35. PDO says:

    Gord:

    I hope you're right.

    Honestly, if the Oilers had won the cup (…. if he scored on the door step there, I fucking guarantee he scores the OT winner in Game 7… I need a drink now….), and he retired an Oiler, I'd retire his number for that run.

    … and if Horcoff retires an Oiler, I would very well consider him, simply because I want to have a guy in the rafters who spent his career wearing the Oiler drop and making a difference.

    Maybe I'm jaded. I grew up in the 90's and watched Weight, CuJo, Guerin, Smyth come here, do great things… and leave/get traded. I just want someone to come here, succeed, and never wear a jersey other than ours…

  36. PunjabiOil says:

    I like Pisani. Always liked that guy, even before the Stanley Cup run.

    Lowe was a dummy for not signing him at 1.1M back in January of 2006, when that was what Pisani and his agent were seeking.

    He's overpaid at 2.5M, but that's not really his fault. The Oilers rolled the dice, and he took advantage of it.

    You'd like to hope their is some loyalty here from Pisani's camp for the fact the Oilers gave him a shot in the NHL (when nobody wanted him), and the fact the organization paid him while he was out with UC. That's not to say the Oilers can low-ball him with .750M offer. However, a fair deal for both parties can be arranged. Something that sheds the cap-hit in half would be reasonable after this year. The Oilers would be set with Hemsky-Eberle-Pisani on the right wing.

    Obviously you then get rid of one of Staios/Moreau by next off-season to promote cap flexibility.

  37. PunjabiOil says:

    By the way, if Malhotra doesn't work out, how about Robert Lang? Very, very underrated player. There are some injury concerns, but very possible this guy may outperform his contract.

  38. chartleys says:

    Hunter,

    sometimes i wonder if you're just lowetide playing devils advocate on his own forum….

  39. Bruce says:

    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.

    Good stuff, LT. To clarify, Fernando's was the first OT shortie in Finals history. There was at least one before that, namely the above-referenced "Gretzky shelf" which came with Mark Messier sitting in the penalty box. Flames are on the PP and I'm thinking if they score here the series is 1-1 and up for grabs and then Kurri banks the puck up the sideboards and Gretzky wins a race against a limping Al MacInnis and wham! Instead of 1-1, the series was O.V.E.R. Just like that.

    the Oilers since 199fucking 1 are a pretty shitty hockey team.

    No need to exaggerate, Hunter … the Oilers of 199fucking1 went to the Conference Finals. So did the Oilers of 199fucking2. But it was pretty much the law of gravity after that, I will agree.

    As for Pisani, I will agree with everybody but Hunter. He gives fans a reason to care about the Oil, no matter how shitty they might be at the time. A consummate professional.

  40. NBOilerFan says:

    Bruce said…
    As for Pisani, I will agree with everybody but Hunter. He gives fans a reason to care about the Oil, no matter how shitty they might be at the time. A consummate professional.

    Ditto… Pisani is one of my favorite… Hunter not so much.

    And Chartleys… that was just wrong to say about Lowetide… ouch. ;-)

  41. Lord Bob says:

    All I know about Pisani is this.

    1) Instant chemistry.
    2) He can play against anybody, with anybody, as long as he's not the centre, and keep his head above water.
    3) He is the only member of this awful team with a place reserved for him alongside the other warriors and the hockey gods in Valhalla.

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