Well, let me preface this by saying that I hope people will see this for what it is and not turn this into another Chris Pronger incident. Sheldon Souray likely isn’t demanding his way out, but it’s quite likely he would jump at any chance to move to the teams on his list. And well, I can’t blame him. He came here with hopes of helping turn this team into a cup contender. At this stage of the game, nearly 3 years since he signed here, it’s obvious that the Oilers are in re-build mode after keeping the team on life support for at least that length of time. Souray is turning 34 this July, and is likely looking to play for a contender. More importantly though, he’s also expressed several times that he would like to live closer to his kids.
On the positive side, Souray is an asset a lot of teams would love to get their hands on. He can blast bombs from the point, he can hit like a freight train, he’s a great leader (damn is that going to be missed), he packs a huge punch, he’s a mean son of a bitch, and stands up for his teammates. He’s a tough guy to replace. In my opinion, he’s worth it for a team to spend $5.4M cap on.
This year has obviously been a bad year for him offensively, but you could easily argue that this has a lot more to do with the team’s current state of suck than it does Souray’s own problems.
So I guess let the speculation begin. One would have to assume it will be a Western Conference team that Souray requests a trade to (although I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a strong Eastern Conference team on the list). The Kings, Sharks, and Ducks are very logical teams that first come to mind (given his kids currently live with their mother in California). Feel free to suggest some trades you’d like to see in the comments section. This would be a good way to pick up another first rounder.
Souray was interview today after the skills comp and had this to say about the stuff surrounding his list of teams he’d waive for:
I really just gave both (Tambellini/Lowe?) my opinion, and from there they’ll do whatever they want to do. But like I said, I’m not going to tie anyone’s hands with it if something goes that way. It’s not really for me to worry about.
It doesn’t change anything, anyways. I think the day I was asked (if he would waive his NTC if asked) was a slow media day and I said “the way things are going, I would understand – I wouldn’t hold them back” and it’s gained a little momentum obviously from the way the team is performing.
But you know I come to the rink every day, proud to be an Oiler. It hasn’t changed the way I played. So, it won’t, I mean, it’s business, you know, and we’re professionals and no matter what situation you’re in – whether you’re a first year player, five year player or ten year player – you’ve got to come every day and be professional.