September 03 2008 10:58AM
Alright, we’ve had it, Nation. It’s our patriotic duty to defend a man whom no one has had the sack to defend thus far. A guy that has taken more shots to the face than 50 Cent—for things that are not his fault.
All this Sheldon Souray bashing has got to stop.
Yeah, we get it. Sheldon Souray isn’t the strongest defensive defenceman in the league. Big deal. Defensive defenceman aren’t exactly the rarest commodity in the league—but a defenseman with Souray’s shot and goal scoring potential number about five or six tops. And guess what? They all make his kind of money. Now before you go and start correcting us showing salary cap numbers that show a player who makes $15,000 less per year than Souray and had two more points—stuff it. Now is not the time to get cute.
All Sheldon Souray has ever done was go out two seasons ago and have a career season in his option year then sign with the Oil with a contract all sides will admit was rich. He had the nerve to score 26 goals and collect 38 assists in his final season Chez Habs. Will he do this ever again? Who cares? If he does, he will do it in an Oilers uniform ‘cause he’s locked up for a long time coming.
You know who scores 26 goals in a season? Power wingers getting first-line ice time and plenty of PP to boot. And do you know what those power wingers make? Sheldon Souray-type money. He may never score 26 goals again—but he will improve the power play considerably and will also make Visnovsky passes go through the back of the net. If the mouth-breathing fans among us love someone who can “SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT,” they have their overlord and master for years to come.
All Sheldon Souray did was sign here in an off-season when the Oil had been unable to sign anyone to anything all summer long. Players’ wives were overriding agents and nixing deals to Edmonton, for heaven’s sakes. Sheldon Souray—who is a legitimate star in this league—had the nerve to say he was signing in Edmonton and it was a dream come true. He went on to say that he was from Alberta and that playing for the Oilers was a rare kind of privilege. And then he defended Edmonton in the media calling it a great city and wonderful place to play with top shelf fans. Then he gets injured and plays a shortened season.
Holy Smokes, Nation. Everyone needs to take a 100 CCs of chill pill, stat. Calling him overpaid and a bum is total BS. No wonder some players hate us Oilers fans. He signs a long-term deal during a time when the Oilers couldn’t even sign ushers for Oil Kings games. He heaps praise on the team, the City and the fans and then plays a shortened season due to an injury that required major surgery. Hardly cause to call him out.
Think about it:
If you’re Sheldon Souray, an admittedly “larger than life” type personality in the NHL, people are invariably going to ask you about the City in which you live. And don’t you all think that the youth of the NHL are going to hang on Souray’s every word in response? If you’re some dink like Jeff Finger and you run into Sheldon Souray, Souray is going to run your show. There’s just no two ways about it. And if he says “Edmonton is a great place to be” then all of a sudden Edmonton is a great place to be and the word gets out. It’s as simple as that. And if he says “Dang, Edmonton is cold and the fan base is a joke. All they’ve done since I got there is piss and moan,” that gets around and opinions of Edmonton sink lower in certain circles.
If we were Sheldon Souray we would absolutely hate Edmonton—particularly all of us Oilers fans. But he seems to be cool as a cucumber. Does he make hateful statements in the media? No. Has he demanded a trade? No. Has he knocked up a local... Ah forget it.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions here.
- Is it Sheldon Souray’s fault that he got a fat contract from the Mighty Oil? Hells no. As if anyone in the Nation would ever turn down a massive raise. “Gee, I dunno about that offer Kevin. It seems a bit rich to me, I’ll come for less.” Not going to happen.
- Does Sheldon Souray signing in Edmonton and speaking positively to other players around the league increase the Oil’s chances of landing other top UFAs? Yes. Souray is a guy players listen to—whether he has good or bad things to say. A happy Souray will lure other players here. Good players too, not Grebeshkov types.
- Is it completely counter-productive to chirp Sheldon Souray going into the 2008–09 season, before the puck has even dropped? Yes. If you have to chirp someone, chirp Grebeshkov. That guy is a goat. Leave Sheldon Souray alone.
Sheldon Souray is our second star for the upcoming season. Gods help you all when he does well.