Are The Oilers Shopping Souray?

Jonathan Willis
December 06 2009 03:55PM

According to rumour-monger Bruce Garrioch, they are. In his latest column, he passes along the following bit of gossip:

The talk is the Edmonton Oilers are sniffing around to see what kind of interest there is in defenceman Sheldon Souray, who has a cap hit of $5.4 million for the next three seasons. There are whispers Souray, 32, was offered as part of a package in a four-player deal with an Eastern Conference team.

It’s hardly the first time that rumours of Souray leaving town have circulated among the media. Robin Brownlee was at the forefront of such talk this summer. It earned a place in Jim Matheson’s column, too.

I imagine that if Tambellini is shopping Souray, and if he believes what he’s said publicly, it will be in exchange for a difference maker at forward. If he doesn’t really believe what he’s been saying about this team, it will be in exchange for futures and whatever salary he needs to take back to make the deal work.

The question for us is which of the three options we’d prefer to see him take: not to trade Souray, to trade him for help now, or to trade him for help down the road.  Chalk me up for option three, but I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Mowzie
December 07 2009, 10:32AM
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What people need to remember is IF he is traded, it's likely because he requested it. I think even with their ages, I still keep him and Visnovsky over Grebeshkov and Gilbert ideally.

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#52 oil country 83
December 07 2009, 10:33AM
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Craig wrote:

Because it wouldn't fit next to the one he already has on his jersey?

I must have been looking at some old footage, I did not sse an "A" thats why I was wondering where it was. oops

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#53 Ambassador humantorch
December 07 2009, 10:43AM
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oil country 83 wrote:

I must have been looking at some old footage, I did not sse an "A" thats why I was wondering where it was. oops

Don't the Oilers have different Alternate caps on the road and at home? I can't remember which games Souray wears an A for, but you probably saw a photo of him in the non-A'd jersey.

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#54 Ender
December 07 2009, 10:46AM
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Mowzie wrote:

What people need to remember is IF he is traded, it's likely because he requested it.

That had better be true. Why on Earth would we want to trade Souray? I agree that it would be beyond stupid to trade him for a scorer to try and win this season; we don't have the horses for that this year and salary issues aside one or even three decent players won't change that. Trading him for futures, though, doesn't make sense either. What would you do with a top-10 pick? Would you select a 1-2 defenseman who could play physical, run on your top PP unit, and unload glass-breaking howitzers from the point? Sure you would. So why would you trade away someone who is already doing that in the hopes of finding someone who might be able to do the same thing?

Are you trying to save a little salary? That's a damn risky way to do it. It would be like turning down a parking spot downtown right in front of the building you need to go into in the hopes that if you go around the block, when you come back there'll be another spot open in front of the same building with time still on the meter. Possible, but not likely. A much more probable outcome there is that you're going to end up parking 4 blocks from your building (still paying), wondering why you passed up the first spot.

Sending Souray away at all is silly, unless he's left you with no choice. And the Oilers can't be cursed with dealing away a top defenseman at gunpoint again, can they? I mean, that would just be a bit much to take . . .

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#55 KenL
December 07 2009, 11:01AM
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Unless he starts acting like Pronger, don't trade him. There is no benefit right now. He finished second in scoring last year, and probably would be in the top 5 if he wasn't concussed. This guy arguably is the next Captain. He's definitely appeared to have taken a more public leadership role than Moreau this season.

Yes the Oil blue line has too many offensive minded D-men, and we really could use another Matt Greene type grittyness. I'd move Gilbert before even contemplating moving Souray.

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#56 Copper&Blue Rule
December 07 2009, 11:47AM
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If the Oil could trade any of their dmen (except Smid) to lets say Carolina or T.O.(I mean Boston) for their 1st round pick. Then I'd definately do it. The Oil need to build, not only here but on their farm too. In a few years they will have a very strong core coming up, Gags, Smid, Brule, Eberle, MPS, Omark, Nash, Plante....etc etc. They need to look to the future. Even if they turn it around this year, they don't have a hope to run for the cup. Get a top 5 pick this year, and build a cup contender of the future.

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#57 OilW30
December 07 2009, 12:21PM
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Sell high...

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#58 Tombo
December 07 2009, 12:32PM
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All I can say is if they're even thinking about moving him, there had better be one hell of a player coming back the other way, otherwise it's not worth it.

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#59 Ender
December 07 2009, 01:48PM
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OilW30 wrote:

Sell high...

Why sell at all? We have Souray signed to 2 more very affordable years. What are you getting back that's better than that?

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#60 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 02:39PM
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@Ender

I don't know if we do move him that would put us closer to the top 3 pick. At the same time if he is moved I sure hope it isn't for project type prospects.

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#61 BBOil
December 07 2009, 03:54PM
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If we get a good return trade him. Last I checked its usually good to trade surplus to fill needs. We have a surplus of offensive D, and small forwards. If you are trading Souray and a smaller forward for a guy like J. Staal or Horton, plus a dependable D then I think you got a deal.

Both Horton and Staal are still young, but fairly proven, have the size we seem to be lacking up front, and could be putting up a minimal 50-60pts on one of your top two lines for years to come. Both are defensively responsible too, another issue we seem to have with our forwards. I don't see any issue getting guys that can help you now, and that you can build with in the future.

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#62 Ender
December 07 2009, 04:02PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Souray is arguably one of the top three players on this team. Souray is also probably a top-pairing defenseman on almost every team. What are you drafting with this top-three pick that's going to be better than that?

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#63 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
December 07 2009, 07:26PM
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Shop him for futures. It's the only way this club gets better in the long run, otherwise we are doomed as fans to see mediocre hockey for the next decade at least (I'm talking about this general mindset BTW not just about trading Souray). Please please please do something about this team. Make it a contender, I as a hardcore die hard fan will put up with the necessary crappier than usual hockey. It's like driving a beater car while saving up for a nice one. It sucks while you're doing it but eventually it pays off and you realize it was worth it.

Please god and Santa... all I want for Xmas is for Kevin Lowe to somehow part ways with this organization.

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#64 Darren
December 08 2009, 06:32AM
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Souray should NOT be traded, IMO.

He is a difference maker for us, and one of the only guys who seem to take how the team does to heart. He's tough, physical, one hell of a fighter, and a great power-play d-man.

Now, like anyone who isn't named Gretzky if a much greater commodity can be obtained then sadly it may just be the right move. But that isn't usually the case, and getting roughly equal return in another player isn't going to help much, considering how much Souray makes a difference as the real leader on this team.

Anyway, that's my two cents, as Barney Rubble said..

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#65 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 08 2009, 07:43AM
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@Ender

Souray is also 32 and is playing with a bad shoulder and a bad wrist. He has 3 years left if that at this level, unless you think we will be a contender in 3 years there is no reason why you wouldn't consider trading him.

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