It was all smiles today as Sheldon Souray left the ice after skating at Rexall Place. It looked like Souray and the Oilers made up, and Souray was going to be a part of this team. He said he was looking forward to training camp, and said how things he said were five moths ago. He sounded like he really was sorry, and that he was willing to come back this season and help the young Oilers.
Then news came from the Oilers' rookie tourney in BC, Sheldon Souray will not be at Oilers camp when it opens. Steve Tambellini even called the media around for a little statement about the whole thing. According to Tambellini, Souray's agent was told last week that Souray was not invited to Oilers training camp, and that he was to wait for word from the Oilers on what to do next.
Souray wrote in an email to Oilers' reporter from Rodgers Sportsnet Gene Principe that he will talk to the media tomorrow after a skate about Tambellini's comments. We will sure find out a lot more on the topic tomorrow after Souray talks.
It seems right now that the Oilers have one legit option for Souray, and that is re-entry waivers, praying that someone picks him up at half price for the next two seasons. At this time it is unknown what the Oilers will do. One rumor website suggested a trade between the Oilers and Rangers, Islanders, or Capitals being close, but there is nothing out there to suggest that is true.
Its very possible that Souray is actually trying to stick it to the Oilers here, yes I said stick it to the Oilers. Souray is making it look like he has moved on and is willing to play in Edmonton, and that Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe refuse to listen and think that he is still the bad ego that made the comments five months ago. Believe me, Souray still wants out bad, and it looks like he has played in his last game as an Oiler.
With Oilers camp starting up on Friday, Souray will be skating in Edmonton until then, but its not clear what will happen on Friday if he is still an Oiler, which will be the case. The Oilers could do a few things here. They could send him home and keep him there all season or until a trade comes around. They could place him on re-entry waivers for half the price for the next two seasons, or they could keep him home at the start of camp, and then send him to the AHL.
Back at the NHL's trade deadline in March, rumor was the Oilers were very close on a Sheldon Souray trade, in fact the deal was done and the physical broke everything apart, because Souray's hand was infected at that time. Souray claims that he is 100 percent healthy now, so it will be interesting to see if that unnamed team steps up and makes a deal for Souray.
If a Souray trade is to occur, he will be going out east. The Oilers will not trade him within the west. Calgary, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit and San Jose don't really have the cap space. The Wild, and Yotes don't have anything the Oilers would want. The Preds, Blues, and Blue Jackets don't seem interested, the Stars are on a cap of their own right now, and the Kings don't seem to want him right now. The Ducks could get him, and they are the only team out west that I see making a push for Souray.
Out east, Washington needs a guy like Souray, the Islanders could use him, same with the Rangers, who need a solid No.1 on their young blueline. Every other team in the east however has a cap issue, or no need for Souray. Maybe Dubinsky finally goes to Edmonton, maybe the Rangers will offer a nice package including multiple players from both teams. The Islanders could offer a young defender for him, and the Caps, well who knows what the Oilers would get.
Its obvious however that the next couple of days will be very interesting, and I will have another blog on this situation as soon as more info comes out. I will also be doing an Oilers season preview next week sometime.
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