Edmonton Oilers extend Steve Pinizzotto

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The Oilers made a depth signing on Thursday, inking pending unrestricted free agent Steve Pinizzotto to a one-year contract.

Contract details haven’t come out yet, but I expect this is a two-way deal which will compensate Pinizzotto handsomely at the minor-league level and have him play at something around the league minimum in the majors.

Edit: In an interview on Oilers Now, Pinizzotto confirmed that his new deal is a two-way contract. 

This is a pretty nice to player to have as an NHL recall option and in the role of AHL veteran. It’s not just that Pinizzotto is a physical player – though he is – but he’s an honest-to-goodness hockey player who can be effective at both ends of the rink.

At the AHL level, Pinizzotto can play minutes in the top-six and fill-in on both special teams (he was a regular penalty killer for the Barons after coming over in a midseason trade). For what it’s worth, he also played regular minutes on two AHL championship teams in Hersey in the late 00’s.

Training Camp

Joensuu, Jesse 2

Pinizzotto has a realistic shot at cracking the Oilers’ roster next year, and even if he doesn’t he will make the battle for depth positions in Edmonton more competitive.

At right wing, the Oilers have a number of skaters – Jesse Joensuu, Tyler Pitlick, perhaps Mark Arcobello, possibly even Anton Lander, who got a cameo at the position last year – potentially competing for a fourth line job and an NHL reserve position. Joensuu struggled in the role last year, Pitlick has been chronically injured over his career and the other two don’t bring the robust game the Oilers like to see on the fourth line, so Pinizzotto could snag the last chair when the music stops.

Assuming he doesn’t, he’ll give the Oilers a recall option at the position they simply didn’t have last season, a fallback option in case of ineffectiveness or injury.

  • Rob...

    He’s going to tick off opposition players. My guess is that he makes the highlight reels a dozen times before the season is over, and not for an epic toe-drag.

    • Harry2

      My God. My favorite Oilers memory from this year was that Ducks game where Hendricks and Pinzotto were just absolutely wrecking people, left and right. If we could repeat that this year, that would be awesome.

  • A-Mc

    I like this signing. He was a solid energy player when he was up with the Oilers and wasn’t afraid to drop the mitts. Pinnizotto would be a good first call up for the bottom six role.

  • A-Mc

    By eye, he didn’t seem to leak chances or be too terribly out of position. But, as with all these 4th line guys (and we have had/let go of some good ones) it’s more about the system and the ability for the 3-man unit to execute. It’s not about the one guy (see Brown) making the whole line sink or swim. I also like 4th liners who can pk so that the stars are not breaking bones blocking shots in January.

  • vetinari

    Thought that he’d get extended. We can always use some depth and from his perspective, he gets a chance to get some NHL games under his belt with an organization that has some openings for some heavies.

  • Will

    Does this guy replace Gazdic, or do we still need the nuclear deterrent in the line up? By my eye the fourth line looked better with Pinnizotto on it than with Gazdic.

    If our fourth line was Hendricks Gordon Pinnizotto next year, I could be pretty happy with that type of hard hitting, tough minutes eating shut down line.

    • ubermiguel

      Nuclear deterrents are so 1980s.

      I’d be happy with Gordon on the 4th line, but that requires Gagner still playing centre and getting another centre that’s better than Gordon onboard.

      • OilClog

        So you believe it to be a coincidence that prior to Gazdic joining the club the face of our 2nd line Center was literally caved in and flying elbows were being thrown at our stars without any consequence? I remain skeptical.

    • ubermiguel

      I actually agree, if Mac is having a tough time finding a better 3LC than Gordon. I’d love to see Lander-Gordon-Arco
      And Gaz-Hendrix-Pinnizotto for a bottom 6. Put Joensuu in the press box and have Pitlick as the first injury call up. I’d much rather have Mac putting his time, effort, and caps space towards the gaping holes at 2lc and #1 dman

      • Harry2

        That is a beyond terrible third line that would get eaten alive! Hendricks, Gordon, Pinnizotto is a great 4th line. If Lander cant cut it on the third line he belongs in OKC.

  • Wax Man Riley

    IMO, this is a great pick up for the Oilers and once again, not costly. Pinizzotto is a great agitator/hitter of the right and good size/heaviness, he can skate very well enough and can shoot a bit, plus he does PK duty.

    A very good soldier to have for both the AHL and NHL teams of the Oilers. That being said, I can see him working the fourth line of the Oilers with Gordon and Pitlick.

    But then I would like to see if the Oilers can get Fiddler as a UFA signing for full time 3rd line duty and the team can pair him up with Hendricks and Lander. With Fiddler and Gordon taking faceoffs defensively this will benefit the Oilers big time.

    With Perron, Hendricks and maybe Pinnizzotto on 3 different lines… that’s three tough enough guys who can be effective and bring in more powerplays for the Oilers to tackle… as well as stand up for the young guys.

    The Oilers should keep Gazdic though for the extra man/odd game services as there are still some huge heavywieghts on certain teams which will cause trouble… thus his needs as deterrent policeman are still required in this league…(those bad uns are like Boll, Scott, Weisse, Kassian, Orr, etc).

  • utarded

    Nicholson is looking at a CEO position with Rexall Sports which is a different cat than POHO. Responsibilities are way different.

    He would certainly add to the Rexall Sports in a big way.

    If Rexall Sports decides to move into other hockey markets outside Edmonton having Nicholson would be an astute move by Katz.

    Who knows Canadian Hockey better than him? And his connections to those markets would open doors for Rexall Sports.

    If it happens I look forward to seeing when Rexall Sports moves into the OHL market. Or the QMJHL. Direct access to those markets would open up so many options it makes my head spin.

    Pinzo is a good signing. At the AHL level you pay him top dollar. At the NHl level he gets league minimum. Its a win-win. OKC needs a veteran like him. Especially with the wave of players coming this season. Yakimov-JK- Moroz and onward.

    It may not be BOLD Spyder but it is a solid organizational move by MACT.Next time post SOLID.

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    Didn’t mind Pinnizzotto as a 4th line guy, so no issues with him resigning.

    As Ferraro suggested (with more added):

    Eberle + 2015 2nd + Lander for Shattenkirk + Berglund

    Marincin + 3rd + 4th for Boychuk

    Gagner for Colin Wilson

    Sign Kulemin and Setoguchi as UFA’s

    Hall Nuge Perron

    Wilson Berglund Yakupov

    Kulemin Arco Setoguchi

    Hendricks Gordon Pinnizzotto

    Shattenkirk Boychuk

    Klefbom Petry

    Ference Schultz

    This leaves Nurse and Draisaitl/Bennett developing and ices us a competitive team. We also retain that 1st round pick next year.

  • Harry2

    I would REALLY like to now who the person is that gives the thumbs down on EVERY comment. Seems like however decent the comment is, this person just HAS to sour things. Wait a minute – I know, it’s my ex-boss!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    This is the time of year when every news seems to be good news. People don’t remember it but a lot of fans really liked the Bélanger and Eager signings when it was done. I bet if the Oilers stumble out of the gate again this year, the same fans who are applauding the Pinzotto contract now, will be ripping the front office for signing “career AHLers with not enough skills”. Seriously, it’s hard to believe there aren’t better options out there for the role he is gonna play on the roster. Sorry for raining on the parade.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Marchand would be the perfect addition to our third line.

    If Bruins dump him for cap reasons(sign Iginla) – MacT should make the best offer and get it done.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Good to have Steve coming back. It’ll be good to have one line capable of initiating the violence.

    Initiating it is far better than responding to it after the fact.

    Gazdic/Pinizzotto/Hendricks….the Killers.