Souray willing to waive goodbye

Robin Brownlee
January 08 2010 06:23PM

Sheldon Souray proved he's quick with a quip on two occasions at Rexall Place today, breaking up the drool-inducing monotony of watching the first day of the Edmonton Oilers "mini-camp."

The first gem came just before weary, sweat-soaked players filed off the ice after two sessions of skating, early morning off-ice training and video tape sessions -- none of which will ever be mistaken for the team golf junket to California coach Pat Quinn pulled the plug on this week.

Smirked Souray: "So, for sure we're not going to Palm Springs?" Good for a hearty laugh by teammates. And, no, after 11 losses in their last 12 games, the Oilers won't be getting near Palm Springs, at least not until April 12.

The second came after Souray spent several minutes talking to Dan Barnes of The Journal, Rob Tychkowski of The Sun and yours truly, discussing where he stands on the possibility of being traded -- his name has been the subject of trade speculation, much of it far-fetched, since late last season.

After making it clear he hasn't asked the Oilers for a trade but would be open to waiving his no-trade clause if a deal made sense for the team and for him, the big defenceman joked about what might show up in print: "Souray asks to be traded," he smiled. "That would be me," I responded. "I know," he said.

HE DIDN'T SAY THAT

Souray said no such thing. Neither will I.

There's a big difference between Souray and his agent making it known he'd be willing to waive his NTC, which runs out July 1, if GM Steve Tambellini can work a deal that benefits the team and works for him and asking for a trade.

The "Souray wants out" talk made the rounds at the end of last season, and it was a bad scoop I framed as a rumour and passed along at the time. Some fans accused me of doing sort of an Eklund imitation. Most readers here appreciated my take on the scuttlebutt.

In any case, Souray's name remains grist for the rumour mill, and he chatted at considerable length today, offering his take.

“I wouldn’t at this point hold them back from doing anything that makes the team better," he said. "I came here with a goal.

"You hope to try to see it out. With where we are right now, it’s tough to say in the next three years if we’re going to see that. If it does come to the point where they ask me (to waive the NTC) I would not hold the team back.”

Nowhere in there does Souray say he wants out. Nowhere in there does he say the Oilers have indicated they want to move him. Of course, with two more years after this season remaining on a contract that makes Souray a $5.4-million cap hit and the Oilers facing a full-on rebuild, it doesn't take a vast intellect to see a conversation about the latter might take place.

TOUGH TIMES

From where I sit, what makes sense for the Oilers is to move Souray and free up cap space so Tambellini has room to move when it comes to revamping his roster. Of course, that's more easily said than done.

What makes sense for Souray, if it comes to a request that he waive his NTC, is a team that takes him no farther away from his two daughters, who live in California with his ex-wife.

When the always-available Souray left Rexall Place after team photos last season without talking to reporters, I wondered if there was credence to talk he wanted out. Souray later denied that was the case. Fair enough, after all, last season was frustrating for everybody with the organization. I'm guessing the sacking of Craig MacTavish eased some of that.

As for talk of discontent this season, Souray insisted today any consternation on his part stems from lack of success on the ice, not a desire to leave the Oilers.

"This year, pick any spot you want, it's been a disaster," Souray said. "It's hard to look down the road because things change, you know, in this game real quick.

"But, things have to start changing at some point. You have to start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I think that's the position we're in as a team right now. Right now, we're having trouble grabbing on to that light at the end of the tunnel, you know what I mean?"

LOOKING AHEAD

Given how his first season here was cut short by injury before the personal success of last season, his time in Edmonton has been something of a roller-coaster ride for Souray, who has two years remaining on his deal.

"We've got a good group of guys," he said. "We're playing absolutely dreadful hockey here at home and fans are still showing up and still showing their support.

"You can play great and be in a place like Phoenix and not have any fans, so the grass isn't always greener, you know?"

Why not take what Souray says at face value? If he didn't want to be here, he wouldn't have signed on for five years, even taking into account that the Oilers were happily willing to overpay to get him. Is he happy now? No, of course not.

"Right now, it's frustrating," he said. "Am I frustrated and disappointed? Absolutely. I'm one of the guys, that if there's some finger-pointing to go around, I've got to point the finger at myself and say, 'Hey, look. I can play better.'

"It's tough. It's taxing because you take it home with you. You want to be one of those guys who is counted on. You want to be the guy to step up and go, 'Look, man,' and put the team on your back and try to carry them a little bit. We haven't been able to do that."

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#151 bingofuel
January 11 2010, 12:14AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

I just removed the discussion entirely.

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#152 TigerUnderGlass
January 11 2010, 12:22AM
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@bingofuel

Fair enough

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#153 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 08:45AM
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Really don't see how this is any different then what we knew. It's been mentioned on more then one occasion that he wouldn't oppose a trade to be closer to his kids. I guess now the only difference is it is on the record.

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#154 roughneck
January 11 2010, 09:02AM
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@bingofuel

Back to discussing hockey!

how about those rypien/prust fights?

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#155 The Towel Boy
January 11 2010, 09:05AM
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roughneck wrote:

Back to discussing hockey!

how about those rypien/prust fights?

That was a great game to watch. I wish Oiler games had that level on intensity.

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#156 RossCreekNation
January 11 2010, 09:05AM
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Shapeman wrote:

hey is it just me or why does Flames nation seem absolutely empty compared to Oilersnation?

FlamesNation is a work-in-progress by the same guys that run this site. Wanye and cru are working hard to make improvements over there (they started by letting me post there - lol), and some big news is on the way. If you comment here, you can comment there - it doesn't suddenly make you into a Flames fan if you do. You don't have to sign up through FlamesNation, you just have to login using your OilersNation name/password. Come on over... it'll be fun ;-)

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#157 RossCreekNation
January 11 2010, 09:06AM
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roughneck wrote:

Back to discussing hockey!

how about those rypien/prust fights?

A-W-E-S-O-M-E

Those are 2 guys that could play for me any day.

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#158 roughneck
January 11 2010, 09:48AM
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@RossCreekNation

Prust was great and Rypien was not coping well with that reality... loved it!

You know you are one hopeless waste of skin... when; your team winning matters enough to bring a lazer pointer to a game in hopes of gaining some sort of "advantage". Like honestly... wtf is that? I get that fandom by definition lacks solid contact to real life but that act just reeks of all that is wrong with being irrational about it. sad, sad, sad.

right up there with the stoon crowd throwing coins on the ice in a world junior game because a goal was not allowed. really? its that important? I love my hockey but sometimes the fan thing needs some work. And yes I realize its not the entire fan base but a couple loads that should have went to the sheets, but still....

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#159 quicksilver ballet
January 11 2010, 09:52AM
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Where did all the to and fro go between Brownlee and TUG, it was the most interesting part of this thread. There's nothing left but the smoke and mirrors bullship.

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#160 RossCreekNation
January 11 2010, 10:01AM
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@roughneck

The Flames scored 4 seconds after the second Prust fight to tie the game. I'd say that win is on him. The team was sooo fired up after that. He's loved inside that room, and he got Jarome more fired up than he's been all season. Glad they were able to get him back (for $2.4M Jim Vandermeer no less, wtf).

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#161 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 10:07AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

The Flames scored 4 seconds after the second Prust fight to tie the game. I'd say that win is on him. The team was sooo fired up after that. He's loved inside that room, and he got Jarome more fired up than he's been all season. Glad they were able to get him back (for $2.4M Jim Vandermeer no less, wtf).

~Big contracts are imposible to move~

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#162 rubbertrout
January 11 2010, 10:24AM
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David S wrote:

Now I could be wrong, but shouldn't this be news??? Guys on here have been asking for months about this.

I need an online source for ON gear as I'm down in Calgary.

Bingo? Wayne? Bueller?

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#163 Gunner
January 11 2010, 11:16AM
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@RossCreekNation

They're ok... ~No Pouliot though. Right Gregor?

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#164 Dan the Man
January 11 2010, 11:59AM
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Good but scary write up on Souray from David Staples yesterday.

http://communities.canada.com/edmontonjournal/blogs/hockey/archive/2010/01/10/did-the-oilers-wait-too-long-to-trade-away-sheldon-souray.aspx

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#165 Giggsunited
January 11 2010, 12:06PM
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Can anyone tell me how Buffalo got our 1st rnd pick last year? Somehow I think they recieved it from Anaheim but I cannot find the details anywhere? Very disturbing who Buffalo got.

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#166 Gunner
January 11 2010, 12:13PM
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Sure is quiet 'round these parts..

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#167 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 12:14PM
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Giggsunited wrote:

Can anyone tell me how Buffalo got our 1st rnd pick last year? Somehow I think they recieved it from Anaheim but I cannot find the details anywhere? Very disturbing who Buffalo got.

The Edmonton Oilers' first-round pick went to the Buffalo Sabres as the result of a trade on June 20, 2008 that sent the 13th-overall pick and a third-round pick in 2009 to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for this pick. Los Angeles acquired previously as the result of a trade on June 20, 2008 that sent the 17th-overall pick and the 28th-overall pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for this pick. Anaheim acquired previously, along with second and third-round picks, from Edmonton as the result of Anaheim's decision not to match an Oilers' offer sheet to restricted free agent Dustin Penner on August 2, 2007[2].

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#168 roughneck
January 11 2010, 12:19PM
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@Dan the Man

In a year or two he can write the same piece about Penner.

Hindsight is a very comfortable place from which to judge.... obviously

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#169 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 12:26PM
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roughneck wrote:

In a year or two he can write the same piece about Penner.

Hindsight is a very comfortable place from which to judge.... obviously

I would add when did he expect to trade him? We signed him when he was 31. He missed most his first year and then he played all of last year. Going into this year management never expected this to happen, if they did maybe they would've moved him in the summer.

I've been saying that we should keep the younger d-men and move the older ones for some time. Reason being is we won't be contenders until the older guys will be on the downside of their career. With that being said there is no real logic that would say the team would've moved Souray or Visnovsky for this reason until recently.

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#170 Giggsunited
January 11 2010, 12:39PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

The Edmonton Oilers' first-round pick went to the Buffalo Sabres as the result of a trade on June 20, 2008 that sent the 13th-overall pick and a third-round pick in 2009 to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for this pick. Los Angeles acquired previously as the result of a trade on June 20, 2008 that sent the 17th-overall pick and the 28th-overall pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for this pick. Anaheim acquired previously, along with second and third-round picks, from Edmonton as the result of Anaheim's decision not to match an Oilers' offer sheet to restricted free agent Dustin Penner on August 2, 2007[2].

Thanks, were did you go to get that?

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#171 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 12:41PM
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@Giggsunited

I went to wikipedia and looked up 2008 NHL entry draft, below each round has what trades were made to acquire picks.

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#172 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 12:59PM
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Giggsunited wrote:

Can anyone tell me how Buffalo got our 1st rnd pick last year? Somehow I think they recieved it from Anaheim but I cannot find the details anywhere? Very disturbing who Buffalo got.

Ya, that sucked. You know what else sucks? The pick we traded to Boston for Samsonov turned into Lucic.

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#173 Giggsunited
January 11 2010, 01:06PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ya, that sucked. You know what else sucks? The pick we traded to Boston for Samsonov turned into Lucic.

look at NY Islanders last year, 3rd rd. Kirill Petrov, isnt he the stud for Russia right now? that was our pick aswell. lol

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#174 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 01:09PM
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Giggsunited wrote:

look at NY Islanders last year, 3rd rd. Kirill Petrov, isnt he the stud for Russia right now? that was our pick aswell. lol

Thing is we could've picked that guy as well but we never did.

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#175 Giggsunited
January 11 2010, 01:10PM
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So Penner and Samsonov for tyler Myers, Kirill Petrov and Milan Lucic. I think we should rebuild, not saying if we had these picks we would of taken the following anyways.

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#176 Senator Theo
January 11 2010, 01:32PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ya, that sucked. You know what else sucks? The pick we traded to Boston for Samsonov turned into Lucic.

Samsonov was a part of our cup run in 2006 - he scored some timely goals during those playoffs. I wouldn't trade that run for the possibility that we might have drafted Lucic.

In so many ways that cup run is responsible for the mess we're in now, but I still wouldn't trade a second of it.

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#177 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 01:46PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Samsonov was a part of our cup run in 2006 - he scored some timely goals during those playoffs. I wouldn't trade that run for the possibility that we might have drafted Lucic.

In so many ways that cup run is responsible for the mess we're in now, but I still wouldn't trade a second of it.

Ya I agree, but it's still frustrating. Add Myers and Lucic to our team and suddenly theirs no size issues.

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#178 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 01:52PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ya I agree, but it's still frustrating. Add Myers and Lucic to our team and suddenly theirs no size issues.

Myers would be at the cost of Penner and really Myers is still an unknown. As for Lucic we drafted 45th and took Petry, we could've had Lucic if we wanted.

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#179 Travis Dakin
January 11 2010, 03:12PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Samsonov was a part of our cup run in 2006 - he scored some timely goals during those playoffs. I wouldn't trade that run for the possibility that we might have drafted Lucic.

In so many ways that cup run is responsible for the mess we're in now, but I still wouldn't trade a second of it.

I would trade the last oh.... 1200 seconds of it.

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#180 Bucknuck
January 11 2010, 03:13PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Myers would be at the cost of Penner and really Myers is still an unknown. As for Lucic we drafted 45th and took Petry, we could've had Lucic if we wanted.

I would take Penner over those guys, and like you said. We had the chance at Lucic and we didn't so it's just one of those quirks of the draft.

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#181 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 03:28PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I would take Penner over those guys, and like you said. We had the chance at Lucic and we didn't so it's just one of those quirks of the draft.

Yikes, I have a feeling we will be wishing we had Myers over Penner for a long long time.

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#182 Tapdog
January 11 2010, 05:37PM
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@ Robin

Is Souray's NTC a limited one. I heard before that he has a list of 10 teams that the Oilers can flip him too without asking? I am sure if they did move him they would try to accomodate his travel issues for his kids and get him into California but some of those 10 teams would have to take him a little farther than he would like and the Oilers would have to maximize the return. Any insight would be great.

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