SUN Hockey Pool

Fernando hears drums of home

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Edmonton Oilers' forward Fernando Pisani thought he'd give Switzerland a try during the NHL lockout, but he's back in the city after just 17 days in the Swiss League.

Pisani, who signed with Langnau SC in a small town 45 minutes outside Bern, jetted back to Edmonton Sunday after playing just seven games.

Goaltender Corey Hirsch put Langnau on the map 10 days ago with his criticism of NHL players coming over and taking jobs, but that's all the excitement that was to be found.

"It was a small town in a farming area and there really wasn't much to do there after hockey," Pisani said. "I just figured it was time for me to come back."

Pisani, 27, who tallied 1-3-4 in his seven games, Buffalo's Tim Connolly and Anaheim goaltender Martin Gerber were the lone NHLers on the Langnau roster.

"The hockey and the guys on the team were good, but there was only, like, three restaurants," said Pisani, who was on a month-to-month contract. "When hockey is over, what do you do the rest of the day? You can watch TV, but everything was in German, so that wasn't much fun."

Pisani will resume workouts here and skate with other players renting ice in the city during the labour impasse.

REASONER IMPROVING

Marty Reasoner is more than a month into a stint to rehab his surgically repaired right knee and he's getting closer to being deemed fit to play.

Reasoner, 27, is one of a handful of NHL players drawing a salary during the lockout because he was injured while playing. He skated yesterday in Sherwood Park.

"I've been going in every couple of weeks," Reasoner said of visits to Oilers' chief of medical staff Dr. David Reid. "We've been doing strength tests on my leg.

"We want to get my leg close to equal strength with my left leg. That's kind of a barometer. Another one is just skating and seeing how it reacts."

Reasoner broke his left ankle and crushed the cartilage in his knee when he fell into the end boards at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. He returned for four games, but it was determined surgery was needed.

There's been talk Reasoner, who will draw his $800,000 salary until he's medically cleared, could sign an AHL contract and play with the Edmonton Road Runners.

"I don't know if that's even really in my hands," he said. "If that's what the organization wants me to do, then it's something to think about, but I'm not really in a position to say I want to or not. It's up to them."

Be that as it may, skating and conditioning under supervision of the team's training staff is helping the knee mend.

"Every day is different," he said. "I was talking to Kenny (Lowe) last week. One week I felt like I was never going to play again. Last week, I felt like I could play tomorrow. It's one of those things. There's going to be highs and lows. You have to maintain an even keel."

AROUND THE RINK: Centre Martin St. Pierre has been named the ECHL player of the week after tallying four assists in two games with the Greenville Grrrowl. St. Pierre leads ECHL rookies with nine points.


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