Don’t Call My Name, Don’t Call My Name

According to several reports, the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year, one-way deal worth $500,000 with seven year NHL veteran Fernando Pisani.  Pisani is best known for his magical run through the 2005-2006 playoffs where he was one of the reasons the Edmonton Oilers came within one win of the Stanley Cup. 

Pisani potted 14 goals and added 4 assists in 24 playoff games that year after notching 18 goals and 19 assists in 80 regular season games.  Unfortunately, his career got side-tracked in 2008 when he suffered a broken ankle and in that off-season was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.  Without going into great details about what the disease is, it severely cut into Pisani’s playing time as he only played in 78 games the past two seasons.

At the worst, Pisani gives the Hawks one of the most fundamentally sound penalty killers in the league.  Best case scenario, he has stretches reminiscent of his pre-colitis days where he was a solid two-way player and a legitimate threat for 20 goals. 

Either way at $500,000, it’s the type of low-risk/high-reward deal Hawk fans should become familiar with as long as they have over $10 million locked up in their second defensive pair. 

He also will serve as competition amongst guys like Kyle Beach, Viktor Stalberg, Jack Skille, and Bryan Bickell as they try to break camp with the big boys in a couple months.  The worst thing the Hawks could do is gift-wrap roster spots for a bunch of guys who may or may not deserve it.  At least with Pisani there, they will have to earn whatever they get.

Plus, it’s not like he’s going to play in all 82 games this year.  So guys who need more seasoning will spend some time in Rockford and when Pisani goes on the shelf at some point -because he will-, they won’t just be thrown to the wolves.

So no, he’s not Bill Guerin, but he’ll do for now.

–With the Pisani signing, the Hawks now have 21 players under contract with just over $1.5 million in cap space.  With John Scott capable of playing up front and defense, it’s wholly possible this is the team that breaks training camp.  Barring any unforseen hiccups in the pre-season, of course. 

It’d also be safe to assume that Stan Bowman isn’t in any hurry to chew up the remainder of that cap space on one guy.  The 22nd guy will probably be a Rockford shuffler.  So once the Hawks see whatever holes they have in their roster, Bowman will be better suited to fill them via mid-season trades or what not.

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13 Responses to Don’t Call My Name, Don’t Call My Name

  1. Patrick says:

    Okay, maybe I’m drinking a bit of Koolaid here, but I like the move. He’s a solid player, particularly on the PK (when playing that is), and some kids will get various call ups and experience via the I-PASS with the big club when needed. Oh, and Stan will have some flexibility too.

    Question for you all – is Hossa the Hawk’s best player? I’m thinking yes…

  2. Lou says:

    @ Patrick, I think Toews is the Hawks best overall player. Hossa is the best two way player no doubt about that.

  3. Numbers Don't Lie says:

    Campbell is the highest paid player, so he must be the best. *jokes*

  4. ArlingtonRob says:

    All I know is the Hawks have several of the best players in the world…literally. Looking forward to camp so we can find out who fills out the roster in October. Should be another fun season.

  5. Marts says:

    Toews is our best player. Everythig he does, he does well. He goes as hard as humanly possible at all times. He makes all the little plays that most people don’t recognize. I love that he will sacrifice his body along the boards to make the right play and chip a puck out etc. I have made video’s to show the bantam kids I coach that are Toews highlight reels. No goals, only all the little things he does right (afformentioned stuff, as well as backchecking, tying up your man on face-offs, hard to the bench on a line-change etc.).

    That being said, I would also argue that Hossa plays the way a winger should. North-South, hard forecheck (not necessarily finishing body checks, but stick positioning), cutting off passing lanes, tying up wingers on draws, fighting through face-off checks and getting to the point etc.

    I would continue by saying that Keith and Seabrook play defense perfectly for how they are statured individually. Keith’s ability to front players and keep his feet and shoulders square to attackers is crazy. His puck pursuit is amazing and his patience is a forecheckers nightmare. Seabrook is a corner monster and one of the best at playing a loose puck to safe spots on the ice and his lateral closing ability on attackers is very good. Deceptive foot speed puts him in good spots on the ice. Both a effective points shots as well. not necessarily the heaviest, but they get their shots through in most cases (anywhere within 10 feet of target is better than off someone’s shin pads).

    I would say we’ve got 4 of the “best” in the league for what they do…

  6. ArlingtonRob says:

    Marts> You just presented the detailed version of my prior post. Could not agree more. Good Stuff!

  7. Otter says:

    I think Toews pretty much proved that he is the best hockey player on Earth with his play in the Olympics and then with the Blackhawks. Toews was the best player on the Canadian team and dominated the playoffs save a few games against the Flyers. While Crosby and Ovechkin are more talented offensive players, Ovechkin seems to struggle against better competition (going by playoff and Olympic viewing) and Crosby either had a down year or Toews passed him as a player.

  8. modnar says:

    @John

    i was wondering what your thoughts were on the announcements last night that brandon pirri has signed an entry level deal. between this and the leddy signing, it seems like the hawks are starting to lose faith in the ncaa development path and would rather see the players develop in the ahl or in the chl.

  9. Marts says:

    I don’t know if this is a long-term trend or a coincidence, but in my opinion the CHL is better than NCAA hockey for developing young talent. The NCAA places a huge amount of importance on applying very technical team systems in place whereas the CHL seems to allow for individual talent to develop a little more rapidly. I’m painting a very black-and-white picture here (don’t all generalizations), but the freedom to improve your high end skill plus more game experience reps seems better to me.

    NCAA guys (particularly freshman/rookies) often find themselves playing behind established juniors and seniors regardless of their talent. In the CHL, a 16 year-old my have to cut his teeth on the 3rd or 4th line for a couple years but playing against older guys (up to 20 y.o.), even in practice, really brings their skills up. BY the time they’re draft eligible they are playing top line minutes for 66-72 games (plus playoffs).

    I look at someone like Jack Skille as an example of talent that didn’t get the needed reps nor was he afforded the chance to take his individual talent to the next level. Look a Pat kane… where would he be if he took to the NCAA instead of the London Knights? Every NCAA team tries to play like last years Phoenix Coyotes. A good model to be sure, but not every player can develop their personal skills under those constraints. CHL still has more emphassis on player development and less on winning (another generalization as often the two go hand-in-hand).

  10. John says:

    Got some extended thoughts on that. Should have a new post up within a day or so. I don’t know if it’s the Hawks not trusting the NCAA or the new regime’s philosophy of putting their best prospects on the fast track. They’re definitely putting themselves out on a limb by doing this. They very easily could have avoided the criticism that’s likely to come if neither pan out.

  11. John says:

    And of course, we still have to see where Pirri and Leddy get placed out of training camp. If they try to force-feed them into the AHL rather than Juniors, I think that’s a huge mistake, but there’s no point in getting wound up over a decision that hasn’t been made yet.

  12. Lou says:

    Hey Lee, what if John Scott become a pacifist, tree hugger vegan this offseason???

  13. Lee says:

    Scott and I are at Martial Arts school as we speak

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