The trade winds (and the other type) are full throttle in Edmonton today. Bob Stauffer reported on his show today “expect the unexpected” and Jason Gregor chimed in with “Steve Tambellini will be on the phones in the next 48 hours trying to get something for one, possibly two of (those) four players.”
The players in question are Steve MacIntyre, Liam Reddox, Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot and Fernando Pisani. Fernando Pisani!! He goes on to say the club likes Liam Reddox and his compete level and that some in the organization believe he’s a cheaper version of Pisani.
Alright, let’s take these things one at a time. The 5 players have varying degrees of skill and are paid various salaries so picking one over another as a favorite to leave is an impossible task. As Gregor mentioned above, Tambellini is probably just calling numbers and asking about interest.
MacIntyre is a one-trick pony, a player whose value comes as an enforcer. Reddox is a good young player (I’ve always liked him) but miles and years from ‘Nando country. Nilsson is a gifted offensive player with an indifference for the finer points of the game that rivals any on this roster. Pouliot is a young man in the middle of grinding himself into a 2-way regular and appears to be on a good path (save injury). Fernando Pisani is the most valuable chip in this conversation.
Which brings the question: why would the Oilers, who are without veterans as it is, consider dealing Pisani? Two reasons: first, he is entering that period of his career where injuries and games missed becomes more of a factor, and second he’s making a lot of money (2.5M in this, his walk year). I can understand the team’s desire to deal him, with injury and dollars the main difficulty.
In the “reasonable expectations” post in the summer, I made two main points:
- What do these numbers tell us? The Corsi number is poor but we need to put it into 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.
- 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.
I hope they don’t deal Pisani, but he’s a veteran player with value whose contract expires at the end of the coming season. There’s value here.