Not much of a fantasy asset but I guess it depends on how deep your leagues are.
#Oilers announce they have agreed to terms with centre Steve Pinizzotto (@stevepinizzotto) on a one-year contract. pic.twitter.com/kYphWGeqdB
As the Stanley Cup playoffs wind down the business of roster-building will take centre stage in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Edmonton Oilers are making headlines with changes in their coaching ranks or (rumoured) in their front office structure, but there are some details that can be taken care of in-house, in terms of contract renewals.
Pinizzotto was acquired in a minor-league deal this past January, a 2-for-2 swap with the Florida organization that saw Ryan Martindale and Derek Nesbitt go the other way while Jack Combs joined Pinizzotto in going to Oklahoma City. The veteran forward infused some hustle and muscle to the Barons line-up, contributing 18 points and an eye-popping 116 penalty minutes in 30 games as a Baron, as the AHL club made a late drive to qualify for the playoffs. A willing puglist but hardly a full-out enforcer, Pinizzotto has consistently averaged about one fight for every ten games played as a pro.
The 6í1, 201 pound forward got the call to the Oilers late in the season, playing the final 6 games for the injury-stricken club. Though listed as a centre in the above tweet, he played strictly on right wing in those games. He acquitted himself fairly well in a limited role in the bottom six, playing just under 10 minutes a night. He finally found the scoresheet in the season finale with a pair of assists against his old club, Vancouver Canucks, his first two NHL points in his 18th game. Thatís 18 more games than anybody might have expected when he spent parts of his first two pro seasons in the ECHL after a college career with a little known program, the Rochester Institute of Technology. Itís a career curve that reminds of Matt Hendricks ó starting with no expectations but gradually working his way up the ladder to at least enter the conversation on an NHL depth chart.
In a perfect world, Pinizzotto will remain a few rungs down that ladder. He can help at the AHL level, but is a borderline NHLer, seemingly the very definition of ďreplacement levelĒ. That said, the expectation is heíll make a good impression at camp and make it a hard decision for Dallas Eakins to cut him. The player does bring some attributes in short supply on the big club, and no doubt views the current opportunity as his best chance yet to work his way into the best league of all.