Sail On, St. Albert Saint

Chicago’s Blackhawks caught a break today, acquiring a good man and loyal soldier at a very reasonable price. Our loss is their gain.

I would argue that Fernando Pisani would have been an exceptional mentor to the new Oilers, just as he was to the last bunch who came through town. Pisani is in a different era of his career than the day after G7 SCF, but surely NHL teams could (and did) see a worthwhile player.

I can also understand the Oilers point of view: a team that has endured countless injuries–and has plenty of the injury prone signed long term–can hardly be blamed for passing on Pisani when his contract is up. It is all water under the bridge today, as Chicago has signed Fernando to a terrific contract (1-way, $500,000). He will no doubt help on the PK, make the transition easier for kids with names like Skille, Bickell and Beach.

During the time that Fernando Pisani laced them up for the Edmonton Oilers, he was never the team’s best player. Never their best forward, never their best right-winger. Why then, do we miss him already?

Because of the character of the man and the splendid way he played the game. I believe the reason we loved Fernando Pisani as an Oiler can be summed up in that one stunning goal he scored in Raleigh those years ago: first forward back as the play left the opposition zone, uses that big brain and moves laterally along their blue and cheats a little hoping for a turnover, and then pure skill with a quick and deadly stick to intercept the pass before it went offside.

And from there, the Hockey Gods turned him into Guy Lafleur just one time and 34 went shelf. It rings as true today as it did those years ago.

Beauty.

After that, health became an issue. He was dealt a bad hand but overcame great odds to return to the game he loved and play it again at the highest level. The NHL passed up a chance to give an award to the right man the season he didn’t win the Masterton, but I’ll always believe he earned it by coming all the way back and playing well. 

If the hockey Gods choose to shine a light on Fernando again and see fit for a second straight Stanley in the Windy City that would be alright with me. Sail on, Fernando Pisani. We’ll remember you.

    • The Fish

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Good Luck Fernando. You will always be remembered fondly here in Edmonton.

      I believe ABBA said it best: “There was something in the air that night….”

  • Cowbell_Feva

    Kinda bitter sweet to see him go. I’m glad on one hand because the injury cloud is hanging directly over his head. That and he is on the downside of his career.

    However the guy had a huge heart and was probably the Oilers most well-rounded forward on both sides of the puck.

    Adios to a true professional. Oh, and Fernie, please “accidentally” cross-check Pat Kane into the end boards during practice.

  • Crackenbury

    Bryn & mostly Jake made Fernando everyones’ cousin in ‘o6 Etown … it was such a pleasure to watch him those years ago, skating around with that big horseshoe hangin’ out his pants…wish i could find my “PASANI 4 MAYOR” t-shirt i’d surely wear it today…he put us sooo close to Stan,virtually all by himself,him,forty-four & Roli.

    thanks for all the memories 34
    stay healthy,be happy

  • DonovanMD

    I remember when he scored in 05 G5, I was sick as a dog in bed, could barely speak and when he scored I called my buddy who had been at all the home games just so we could yell FEEEERRRRNNNNANNDDOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Even with the outcome that was a magical spring and I’ll always have a soft spot for the guy who made signing ABBA cool again.

    • Maggie the Monkey

      There was a time when it wasn’t cool to sing ABBA? Why didn’t anyone tell me??

      All the best to Fernando and his family.

      (♪♫ If you change your mind, I’ll be next in line. Honey set me free, take a chance on me… ♫♬)

  • Still think having Pisani on the 2010-2011 Oilers would have been beneficial in the long run.

    Interesting to me that the worst team in the league, with minimal penalty kill ability or veteran presence, doesn’t want him, but the Stanley Cup Champs (despite the turnover) can find a spot for him.

    Good luck Fernando!

    • Well, Pisani is going to Chicago, that team has lots of good young offensive players, but is a little short on vetern 3/4 liners who can kill penalties and play some tougher minutes.

      The Oilers on the other hand have some good, very young offensive players, but is a little short on vetern 3/4 liners who can kill penalties and play some tougher minutes.

      Wait a minute….

  • I still find it a little hard to believe that the Oilers couldn’t find room on their very-young roster for a positive-influence-type like Pisani, but I have to accept the fact it was a hockey decision.

    I’m proud to say I was a Pisani fan before he did his John Druce impression in 2006 – you could tell there was a quiet class and a lot of subtle skills there.

    There’s been a lot of griping about the Oilers’ draft record through the 1990s and, for the most part, it’s richly deserved, but they did very well with Pisani. Here’s hoping that they can find someone just like him again.

    He was an excellent player and, yes, one of those ex-Oilers who should be given a standing-ovation first time the Hawks are in town.

  • Crackenbury

    I wish him luck. A healthy Pisani can help out any team. I hope there is someone in Chicago to look out for him. Last time he got sick here he either didn’t tell anyone or he refused to admit it to himself so he could continue playing. Regardless, it was his teammates that forced him to get help. He’s the kind of guy that will stay quiet and try to work through it. Not good for someone with his condition. I can’t blame the Oilers for letting him go, we’ve had more than enough injury time over the past few seasons.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    No problem with the FIST!
    At least I know I’m on the right page when I start reading comments.

    Fernando – a true trooper. Gave ‘er all when he was in the line up.

    Sad to see him go and I wish him luck.

    • Ender

      You know, I never made that connection but I can see how people would easily think that. In that context, it would seem almost loyal and patriotic to post it . . . instead of asking people to do something degrading and painful to you.

      Remember what it really is! It’s the bad thing!

  • Ender

    No room for guys like Pisani wtih quality NHLers like JFJ, Smac and Strudwick on this team!

    2 of the 3 make more money than Pisani does. What an absolute crying shame.

    Even if he only played 40 games, he’s still got more value than any of those 3.