By The Numbers – #46 Zack Stortini

Zack Stortini and Radim Vrbata exchange contact info. Photo courtesy canada.com

Zack Stortini is next up on our yearly countdown.  Bring some popcorn.

NAME:  Zack Stortini

SWEATER NUMBER:  46

DOB: 11 SEP 1985 (25)

2010-11 NUMBERS:  0-4-4, 76 PIM in 32 GP (NHL) 1-2-3, 53 PIM in 29 GP (AHL)

2010-11 SALARY/CONTRACT:  $800,000, will be RFA on July 1st, 2011

THE SKINNY

Originally a third round draft pick in 2004, Zack Stortini had the enforcer role locked up pretty tightly until a couple years back when guys like Jesse Boulerice, Steve MacIntyre and JF Jacques rolled up.  Okay, not so much Boulerice, but now that Mac and Jacques are around, the enforcer role has gotten mighty crowded.

It kind of shocked me to see Stortini get the demotion to the AHL this year as I’ve seen flashes of a guy who doesn’t look lost with the puck.  I do have to go back to the 09-10 season, but I remember pretty vividly a game against Nashville where Stortini had himself a pair of biscuits in the game.

I love this clip – the fight is nearly two minutes, and two goals are nearly one minute.

I’ve gone on record as saying that there’s really only room for one enforcer on the Edmonton Oilers squad.  Be it Jacques, MacIntyre or Stortini, I have a real hard time thinking management is going to put two (or three) pugilists on the big club at the start of 2011-12.  Management’s commitment to JF Jacques may see him on top, or perhaps the heavyweight MacIntyre.  If Stortini gets signed to a one way deal, it will surely be to put him on the 4RW.  He finished last season in Oklahoma City, and will certainly dress to impress should he seek a one-way deal with the club.

Maybe all three guys will find jobs elsewhere.

WHAT COULD BE

If Stortini fancies himself an Oiler in 2011-12, I’d expect to see him sign a two way deal that will allow the club to shuffle him back and forth from the AHL to the NHL without issue.  I’m not hopeful that Stortini sees a one way deal with the club unless he comes to camp without a contract and impresses something fierce.  Should Stortini remain an Oiler in 2011-12, I see him on the big club for about 35 games in a role similar to last year.  1-1-2, 67 PIM in 34 GP sounds about right.

Don’t hold your breath, though.

Next Player:  #49 Theo Peckham

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