Just got back from two weeks on the fair island and in the weeks prior to that I was in Fernie and Sudbury so essentially I am back in the saddle and out of vacation. Have to win that damn lottery although I guess it helps to play it to win it.
A number of months ago I wrote about how life is mostly comprised of small moments - you have your weddings, your births, graduations, buying a house, all of that good stuff of course - but for the most part your day to day is made up of little things and once you are settled down and you have your family you are pretty well looking at these little things for years, at least until your own kids start to make their own lives.
And so this past two weeks was made up of many of these wonderful little things. Going with Jenn to the family cottage to overnight without the kids. Having lunch and a pint on a patio with a good friend. Taking the boy to a lighthouse and climbing to the top with him (shitting my pants all of the while I might add). Swimming in the ocean with the kids. Taking the father in law out for lobster for his birthday. Making a campfire on the beach. Drinking a cold beer before noon.
Did I mention the eating and the drinking?
Back at it now, just a little fatigued. Did 1150 kilmoetres on Saturday and while that made for an easy drive to finish it off I think the downside is that its going to take a few days and plenty of alcohol to make things right.
Very little has happened with the Oilers in the last little while. We are still waiting for the Souray issue to be resolved and it would be nice to see Gagner and Cogliano get signed sometime soon I think. I don't think there is any doubt that this club is going to be pretty fucking shitty again this season and I will post on that in the next week or so. I am going to have plenty of time to myself as Jenn pays the piper for going on vacation with numerous shifts in the next little bit. Also for those who have been following our little project here I have the G3 data from Julian and hope to watch the game in the next few days and get that up and then G4 and G5 are done (thanks to Colin (Mr. Debakey)) and they will go up immediately afterwards.
I did want to say something about Fernando Pisani's signing with Chicago. First of all I am not surprised by the money. Here is a guy who has been wracked by illness and injury for the last few years and I thought he would be lucky to get an offer at all. Of course the fact that he is making less than a guy like Strudwick, for example, is ridiculous, but you could run through NHL rosters and find a couple of hundred players who are getting paid far too much or too little I would say. Fernando looked pretty well done last season. Once again he fell ill and on top of that he had a bad back to deal with. He may very well be finished and its disappointing that he wasn't the first to begin and end his career as an Oiler. When he was stricken with colitis back in the winter I wrote the following:
Some frightening news today. Fernando Pisani has been sent home halfway through the roadtrip as his colitis has flared up again.
Now I'm no doctor, although I play one on TV, but I would presume that if its serious enough to send him home then its pretty serious. And what this means is that the end is probably in sight for Fernando Pisani. Even if its just a minor flareup the red flag has been raised and in a bottom line business its unlikely to me that he will be able to get another contract next season. Its difficult to see any club signing an aging winger with health issues that can knock him out of the lineup at any time.
Fernando seems to have been around forever but as Scott Reynolds has pointed out he actually has not yet qualified for his NHL pension yet, just over thirty games short of the four hundred needed. Its a little sad to see this as until his first major bout with the disease two seasons ago Fernando was the poster boy for reliability. From 2001/02 in the AHL to 2006/07 he played 76 games or more every season, providing around 15 goals a year - 26 in the AHL, 17 in the AHL and 8 in 35 games in Edmonton, then seasons of 16, 18 and 14 with the Oilers. Even in 2008 when he came back from colitis he scored 13 in 56 games and then last season he scored 7 in 38 games, limited by a broken ankle.
It may be early to eulogize his career (I certainly hope so) but Fernando will be remembered for two things, maybe three. The last remains to be seen.
And of course there was the wonderful run in 2006. The two goals to even up game six against the Wings. The shortie to win game five gainst the Canes. The goal and then the near miss in the third period of game seven. For two months Pisani scored and then he scored again. BIG goals. CLUTCH goals. ;) If he had stuffed that shot past Ward late in game seven and the Oilers had gone on to win he likely would have won the Conn Smythe. There have always been 'regular' guys who have gotten hot for a series or two, guys like John Druce or Chris Kontos, but nobody from this family of players ever went on a run like Fernando Pisani. And all of this while doing the heavy sledding.
What a player.
And if this is it for our man from Edmonton he will be the first player of any note (and Reynolds and I have this argument all of the time but I stand by my case - a guy who has played his entire career with the organization, seven seasons (or parts thereof) with the big club, a playoff hero is a player of note) to have played all of his career with the Oilers. Randy Gregg almost did before he came out of retirement for a short twirl with the Canucks but Fernando would be the first.
An eighth round pick, a local boy, a guy who showed great dedication coming back from his original bout with this awful disease.
Here's hoping that it is just a minor flareup and that he will be back next week. I hate writing about a guy using the past tense.
But if not and this is the beginning of the end then its right to recognize an underrated guy who has never sold the fans or his teammates short in any way. Here's hoping for good health for Fernando Pisani.