Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sheldon Souray Anyone?

Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini issued a statement Monday evening that the organization would not allow defenseman Sheldon Souray at camp when it opens this weekend.  Per TSN.
"We've been trying to move the player for some time obviously," Tambellini explained to reporters at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. "Sheldon has expressed strong interest over a long period of time that it's best for him to move and we're going to try and help him with that. I couldn't get that done prior to this camp. I hope to get it done during camp, but it's best for the Oilers for him not to be at camp right now."

The relationship between the organization and Souray has been strained almost since the day Souray signed a 5-year, $27-million deal in Edmonton.  In his first season as an Oiler, he played in a career-low 26 games after suffering a separated shoulder.  Their tumultuous relationship came to a head following Souray's criticism of Oilers' management back in April.  Per Sportsnet.
"I got challenged by management on the very first day of my first training camp. The very first day," he said. "They said, ‘When are you going to play?’ I said, ‘I have a six month (shoulder) injury and I’m at five months.’ But I played.
"I’ve had the experience of playing in great organizations (in New Jersey and Montreal), and experienced a vastly different approach to things like that. I was a captain in Montreal. I never had my character questioned there, or in New Jersey. I feel that’s all I’ve had since I’ve been here.’"
Souray has two years and $9-million on his contract with a cap hit of $5.4 million.  The Oilers placed the 34-year old defenseman on waivers back in July but he went unclaimed.  The Oilers have put themselves in a tough spot with Souray.  He's a top-four defenseman with a bad contract and there aren't many teams that can absorb $5 million.

Souray's a three-time all-star who holds the NHL single-season record for most power play goals by a defenseman.  Tambellini has most likely shopped Souray around to all 29 teams with no takers at a $5.4 cap hit.  The Oilers last ditch effort to move Souray will most likely be to put him on re-entry waivers which will cut Souray's contract and cap hit in half.

With the Kings inability to add another impact forward in the off-season; the Kings should look to add more offense from the blueline.  And at a $2.7 million cap hit, Souray could be a nice short-term fit.  With Doughty, Johnson, Scuderi, Mitchell, and a healthy Greene forming a strong top-five; Souray could round the Kings defense into the best in the league. When healthy, Souray can log big minutes in any situation.  He's only one year removed from a 23 goal, 53 point season.     Souray's ability to shoot the puck has made him one of the premier power play quarterbacks in the entire NHL.  He could immediately help the Kings already improving powerplay by quarterbacking the second unit removing Jarret Stoll from a position that he just never fit into.  He's a fluid skater who jumps into the rush.  He's a physical presence on the blueline who's willing to drop the gloves.

Souray is a veteran with some playoff experience that could bring some much needed toughness to the Kings.  At 6'4, he'd be a nice big body to have on the blueline to compete with all the great forwards in the Western Conference.  His strong two-way play could be the perfect compliment to the Kings blueline and buy another season of development for Thomas Hickey, Colten Teubert, and Jake Muzzin. 

Check out this video and learn more about Sheldon Souray...and watch Jason Strudwick give some of the most awkward answers ever.

Souray's goal reel with Montreal.

1 comment:

  1. I've wondered about Souray to the Kings also. I think the Kings are set, but you never know.