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.


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.

  • Milli

    I understand the decsion, and don’t mind it. I am glad to see him get another NHL contract, and hey, the defending champs ain’t a bad place to go! All the best.

    • Ender

      Well, reports indicate that he was a victim of layoffs along with several other Score employees, but I admit the timing does seem a little coincidental.

      If Steve does get the gig, it could be just an extremely lucky save for him though.

      esa tikkanen wrote:

      would like to re-iterate i think the losers posting fist are serious losers.

      I wonder how many of them even know what they’re writing. For the newer Citizens, people used to write ‘First’ in days of yore but our clever and witty moderator used to change that to ‘Fist me’ as a gentle discouragement. I think eventually his mom (who was reading over his shoulder) let him know that perhaps that was a bit over the top, so ‘Fist’ remained as a subtle reminder of what was. To those without the background, however, (or to anyone like Wanye who is completely shameless, you dog you) the point has been lost and we are left with the present situation.

      • It might be as simple as the mods editing every “fist” post to read “I’m a loser”.

        However I must say that guy calling himself “Fist” and posting “fist” was stroke of evil genius.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    At the risk of melodrama:

    Can you hear the bums, Fernando?
    They don’t remember long ago a younger star he sniped like this
    In the highlights, Fernando
    You were humming pucks top shelf and deftly strumming us new lore
    But then hear the Rexall throngs
    Hushed by sounds of doctors’ calls coming for Thirty Four.

    Now we’re old and grey Fernando
    And since many years I haven’t seen a rifle in your hand
    Can you hear the drums Fernando?
    Do you still recall the fateful night we lost the Stanley, man?
    I can see it in your eyes
    How proud you were to skate for the Oilers of Edmonton

    There was something in the air that night
    The stars were bright, Fernando
    They were shining there for you and me
    For Coupe Stanley, Fernando
    Though we never thought that we could lose
    There’s no regret
    If I had to do the same again
    I would, my friend, Fernando

    This one hurts. It was obviously coming–the Matty article being the final nail in the coffin–but it still hurts.

    Like Smitty, this guy had an Oiler crest embroidered on his heart and another tattooed on his soul.

    We’re going to miss you, Fernie; all the best. I had hoped we could do the same again together, but it is not to be. Thank you for the one we did have.

  • master of my domain

    glad to see him go somewhere where he could get another chance at stanley, he deserves it.
    “there was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, FERNANDO!!”

  • Reggie

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

    That’s gold. Thanks for the memories. Wishing you nothing but the best Pisani.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Joey was going to step down as of a month ago but Lyle talked him into hanging on and see how things go, he’ll be at his old post as usual for atleast this season.

      • I'm a Scientist!

        Wait…REALLY? Wow, when Joey does leave the organization better do SOMETHING special for him… retire his…er… number? Something.

        Also, i am happy for Fernado! If he stays healthy, he is going to be an awesome addition to the Hawks. They did very well with that contract!

        • Quicksilver ballet

          ….any other mind numbing revelations sir?

          There’s no need to talk down or belittle Moss’s role with the hockey club, you’re just making a fool of yourself.

          • I'm a Scientist!

            Huh? What the hell are you talking about?

            *smacks the SuperComputer thinking that something got lost in binary translation*

            I am not belittling Moss’s role on the club at all. I was being serious. I think he deserves a tribute of some sort once he decides to hang them up. Not quite sure how that came across as me belitting Joey for anything. Sorry if it did.

          • ubermiguel

            The Canadiens have a Ring of Honour to honour some of their hall of famers that don’t have their numbers in the rafters. It’s behind the upper deck.

            The Oilers need a 2nd level of honour for people that aren’t jersey-retirement worthy, but should be honoured for their contribution when they retire. Guys like Weight, Ranford, Smyth, Joey Moss, Rod Phillips, Lowe and Sather. I’d like to Like a Wall of Honour in the concourse at Rexall.

          • I'm a Scientist!

            Yeah, something like that would be great! There are people that make major contributions to the team that need to be recognized. I also think there should be a spot in the HHOF for Mr. Moss. He is a legend and I had no idea he was close to stepping down.

          • third string plumber

            Second that!

            I went to a Cougar’s game in PG and they had all their NHL players throughout the concourse. Looked awsome!

            Keep the memory alive, put up their names!

  • He’s always turned it on as the season progresses, even before 2006. This is a great signing from the Blackhawks. If he can be healthy for the last 20 games and into the playoffs, don’t be surprised if he’s a huge part of their next run.

  • Eric Johnson

    ” 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.”

    That is and was Pisani (reading that brought such a flood of emotions back) He was always a gentleman. always a good soldier, so glad he’s got his feet in with a classy organization.

    Best of luck Fernando.

  • master of my domain

    would like to re-iterate i think the losers posting fist are serious losers.

    now on to Fernando, just who exactly do the Oilers expect to kill penalties this year?

    I know Taylor Hall was a seriously good penalty killer in junior. Does anyone know, did Eberle kill penalties? I think he did.

    They still need one veteran center and winger. I really hope they sign Halpern or someone like that.

    Does anyone know if Owen Nolan kills penalties? Would be cool for the Oilers to sign Old Man Power to work with Hall, two first overall picks, just 20 years apart…

  • Chaz

    Great article. Thanks for that Lowetide.

    Worked in the service industry for years in the Chuck up to and including the lockout year and the run in ’06. We saw a lot of the Road Runners and Oilers around the place I worked at. Fernando was always kind, polite and humble in any of the minor dealings I had with him. He really is a good guy, and more importantly a great tipper. All the best Fernie!

  • Bucknuck

    So correct me if I am wrong, but that makes Hemsky and Horcoff the only remnants of the 2006 cup run team. Wow, that is some kind of turnover in a short time.

    • Food for thought (I know only 2 players left from 06 team is lower, BUT…):

      Anaheim made it to the finals in 2003 against New Jersey and lost… in 2007, they were back in the finals… with just 4 players from ’03 team – Andy McDonald, Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer, JS Giguere.

      Carolina made it to the finals on 2002 against Detroit and lost… in 2006, they were back in the finals… with 7 players from ’02 team – Rod Brind’amour, Erik Cole, Josef Vasicek, Kevyn Adams, Bret Hedican, Glen Wesley, Niclas Wallin.

      Turnover happens, I guess.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Can’t say any of us are surprised, could work out very nicely for the Pisani’s if he can stay healthy. He’ll definately be someone we can all enjoy watching next May and June.

  • Stone Hands McOsta

    All hail the saint from Edmonton’s greatest suburb. I’ll never forget watching that goal in Rosie’s bar on the trail in the S-T-A. Memories for a life time. Wish Fernando all the best in Chi-town.

  • Adam D

    I say their gain our gain, win win for both. Loved him in ’06 but he couldnt quite find the groove after that, he went through a alot of tough $hit and I comend him for that. Classy guy