Does Pisani To the Hawks Mean Comrie to the Oilers?

As was already reported today by a number of sites, Fernando Pisani is no longer a man waiting by the phone and waiting for a job. After reports that not a single team had called Pisani and not a single GM expressed interest in the somewhat healthy veteran --including Oilers GM Steve Tambellini -- that all changed on Wednesday.

In what took very little time to finalize, Pisani signed a one year, one-way deal with the Chicago Blackhawks for $500,000. In many ways this makes sense for both parties and while it's understandable the Oilers have chosen to walk away from Pisani, Pisani could be a great surprise for the Hawks.

The chances were Fernando wouldn't be returning to Edmonton. Without him (or veterans like him) the Oilers are sorely lacking in veteran leadership.

Ryan Whitney, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Jim Vandermeer, Jason Strudwick, Sheldon Souray, Kurtis Foster and Nikolai Khabibulin are the only current roster players who have played more than five seasons in the NHL. Sounds at first like a decent assortment, but at closer look 5 of the 8 are defencemen, while Souray and Khabibulin may not be of much help if either doesn't return.

On a team greatly lacking in veteran leadership, one could have argued bringing back a veteran forward like Pisani could have been important in a transitioning Oilers team bound to have a few bumps in the road. To give the new young Oilers futures a chance to talk, follow and understand the game at their position instead of looking to each other as rookies and struggling through changes they've not yet faced, someone with experience has to be added to the top twelve to round this roster out.

Is that someone Mike Comrie? Comrie is patiently waiting. Recently married, he's had other things on his mind, but his goal has clearly been to stay with the Oilers. Pisani going could have increased his odds Comrie's doing so ever so slightly.

Comrie is the type of player who makes sense for the Oilers. He'll take a one year deal at around $1 million dollars so the money seems to make sense. He's seen and been through everything a hockey crazed city like Edmonton can throw at a skilled young forward. Offering a mentor to the Halls, Eberles and Pajjarvis on the team is a smart move. One who is similarly skilled, and been where they are now seems logical.

Comrie also provides a strong example of a desire to be in Edmonton, when in the past that desire hasn't been at it's height. The argument that a team like Edmonton only keep players who want to play here regardless of skill is an old and tired one. Comrie doesn't fit that category or into that argument.

Comrie can still score. If healthy, it shouldn't be hard to see 20-25 goals. Should the rookies struggle, Comrie can play anywhere in your top six and on the powerplay.

Most want to see the Gagner deal get done. I do too. I'd rather add Comrie first. It's not likely Comrie will keep waiting. Gagner has no choice.


Just read Comrie won't be re-upped with the Oil. Weird, didn't you theorize that he would be their next Captain?

August 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM comment-delete

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