According to reports out of Edmonton, top defenseman Sheldon Souray has demanded to be traded, stating that it's not the city or fans that is the problem, but the incompetent management staff the Oilers have.
Souray has had an up-and-down tenure with the Oilers since he signed his five-year, $27 million deal during the 2007 offseason. He only played 26 games during his first season with the team, but followed that up with an incredible 23-goal, 53-point campaign in 2008-09.
Souray had another injury riddled season this year, missing 45 games with a concussion, broken hand, and hand infection. He was only able to record 13 points in the 37 games he did play in, a disappointing total for the one of the best offensive defenseman in the league.
Souray has stated that he loves the fans and the city, but does not like the way he has been treated and ignored by the GM Steve Tambellini and other members of the Oilers management team.
He was treated unfairly right from the beginning according to him, when the Oilers told him to play through a shoulder injury during his first season with the team. Souray was shelved just six games later and the troubles he had during the first season rest squarely on the management's shoulders.
Not only will the Oilers lose a great defenseman, but what will soon-to-be free agents think of this situation? When a very respectable player like Souray comes out and trashes the organization and its management, who would possibly want to sign in Edmonton?
I think it may be time for the Oilers to clean house, as this management team clearly can't get the job done. Not only will it be harder to sign free agents, but this team came in last place, more than enough reason to hire a new brain trust.
Hopefully, for the fans' sake, the Oilers can get a good return for Souray and the owner looks long and hard at the people running the team and decides whether or not they are best for the job.