Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“The Pisani” has landed

Since the day he left the Oilers organization, I’ve been waiting for the team to acquire another Fernando Pisani. The man who played a heroic role in the SCF against Carolina in 2006 brought a lot to the game. He was a quality mentor for young forwards, including names like Jarrett Stoll and Raffi Torres in their early years. He could also score a little at 5×5, a very difficult thing to do:

  • 05-06 5×5 per 60: 1.84
  • 06-07 5×5 per 60: 1.39
  • 07-08 5×5 per 60: 1.55
  • 08-09 5×5 per 60: 1.82

One of the things Pisani was able to do is score reasonably well at even strength, a discipline that the Oilers are not especially effective in these days. Pisani’s 1.82/60 in 2008-09 placed him No. 2 among Oilers regulars that season (behind Ales Hemsky).

In his most recent season with the Florida Panthers, Jussi Jokinen did not reach the levels managed by Fernando Pisani, but he has been a superior player historically at 5×5.

  • 05-06 5×5 per 60: 1.75
  • 06-07 5×5 per 60: 1.93
  • 15-16 5×5 per 60: 2.23
  • 16-17 5×5 per 60: 0.94

When looking at his most recent season (and considering his current age, 34) I think we should have some hesitation about Jokinen playing a feature role offensively. It could happen, but counting on the Finn to deliver more than two points for every 60 5×5 minutes of ice time is perhaps aggressive based on his 2016-17 season in Florida.

The exciting thing for me about the Jokinen addition is his possible role as mentor. We’ve read a lot about his relationship with Jesse Puljujarvi, and that connection alone may be worth many more millions than the $1.1 million contract signed by Jokinen for the coming season.

What about other youngsters he could help? Anton Slepyshev? Ryan Strome? Hell, maybe he forms a deadly two-way combination with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

I’m seeing some projections of Jokinen as a third-line checker and some as a top 6F who will hold back the kids. I don’t see either as being probable. It’s more likely (to me) that Jussi Jokinen moves up and down the lineup as needed, but serves as mentor and complement to these young Oilers forwards.

This could be the smartest money spent this summer, and my guess is we’ll see Jokinen on the top line, the checking line, the kid line and both special teams. Suspect we’ll love him by Christmas and we may be wondering if the Oilers might be wise to add another forward with his kind of utility.


      • bazmagoo

        While I understand the argument relative to the contract numbers, I think buying out Pouliot was smart from a team building perspective. Him and Eberle were the only two players who didn’t show up in the playoffs. Happy to see them both gone.

  • srelio

    Ok this has nothing to do with the article but i feel like something must be said for the sake of justice. Why on earth do we have to click the more button, reload the page, then scroll all the back down just to get to the bottom where we can flip through pages like a normal website? Why not just have the old format when its clearly better? I realize this really isnt a big deal but it seems like the sole purpose of the more button is to make the new site look new and it does nothing but inconvenience everyone who wants to read a slightly older article. Please someone give me a single ok reason why the more button isnt a complete waste of time, it doesnt even have to be a good reason, just ok.

  • PimpTaco

    It’s signings like this that makes me appreciate the culture that Chiarelli is trying to build on this team. With many people saying “sign Iginla” “sign Doan” “sigh Jagr”, Chiarelli thinks outside of the box and goes and gets a guy who A) wants to be here and B) knows exactly what is expected of him. This is yet another signing that allows TM to fire up the blender (something I am not a huge fan of) as Jokinen but having a player that can play a multitude of positions and situations can only be looked at as a positive.

    • RJ

      You do realize that for all of the traits that Lowetide is bestowing upon Jokinen (score at even strength, role model/mentor to young players, play on the PP), that one could easily see Jagr performing?

      Legendary work ethic, serious student of the game, future
      first ballot Hall of Famer…I don’t know much, but I think having McDavid exposed to Gretzky and Jagr at 20/21 could be extremely positive for later in his career. I think a lot of young players look up to him, and he’d do pretty well playing with Drai.

      Jokinen is a decent signing, but I’d still love to see Jagr in Edmonton.

      • Boom76

        I hear your wondering, but my guess is that there’s a certain style of mentorship that Gretzky (or every ex-superstar) offers, and it may be a matter of “got that already”… Whereas a team like Calgary could use one of Iggy/Jagr. Weird saying those names as active options 2.5 years from the 2020’s, eh?

        • RJ

          Jagr was in the NHL at 18, and he’s still in the NHL 27 years later. I want the young Oilers core spending as much time as they can with that kind of mentoring. Could you imagine 25 years of McDavid?

    • srelio

      Half way through replying I think Tmac abuses his blending privileges I actually bothered to finish reading your comment and saw that you also think Tmac blends excessively. PimpTaco you are clearly a man of mucho integrity.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      That would be a sick SICK line….in 2020.

      Cherrish the ELC. Everytime a new player comes to the team and makes an impact while on an ELC a championship window opens up. Treating the NHL like an apprenticeship is a huge mistake.

  • ubermiguel

    Jokinen has been in of those players I’ve noticed over the years when playing against the Oilers as a real threat. I love this signing, it brings experience and mentorship, and if he finds his offence again could be the best value contract on the team.

  • Bucknuck

    I like giving the coach options, simply because the injury bug is always there waiting to strike and if the Oilers get hit hard in any one position I want them to have some depth. I like the signing, simply because it is insurance and I would suspect no one is expecting much more than reliable depth.