Big Sexy's big interview

Jason Gregor
April 12 2010 09:40AM

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers

Take a deep breath Oilersnation... relax, inhale and look at how the Sheldon Souray trade request will impact the team. Souray told Mark Spector he wants out, and you shouldn’t be shocked by Souray’s request.

But why he wants out is the bigger issue.

Here’s what he said to Spector.

"I don’t talk to anyone (in management) and I don’t expect to when I check out of here. I don’t really need to talk to them. There isn’t anything to say.

"Management has soured on me, and I’ve soured on them," he continued. "The fans are great, they’ve accepted me here, I see the jerseys in the stands. I couldn’t have pictured a more opposite vision of what my experience here would be like. What the organization here would be like, overall."

"I feel now that, when I signed here, I probably was as blinded by their great past as (the Oilers) are," Souray said. "People will question me, that they overpaid me … that it was a bad decision to sign me. But I can tell you this: I turned down more money in other places."

"I got challenged by management on the very first day of my first training camp. The very first day," he said. "They said, ‘When are you going to play?’ I said, ‘I have a six month (shoulder) injury and I’m at five months.’ But I played.

"The Oilers always prided themselves in being a family. Whatever happened to that? I haven’t talked to (Tambellini) since mid-January."

Here we are a day after the season ended and the drama of the off-season will only intensify with Souray’s comments.

Steve Tambellini is not the best communicator to guys on his own management team, so I’m not stunned he hasn’t spoken with Souray, however, I doubt one phone call to see how he was doing was going to change Souray’s mind.

Souray was bang on when he said it was a mutual “souring” between him and management. Tambellini would have traded him at the deadline if he didn’t break his hand in a fight with Jarome Iginla.

Souray didn’t see eye-to-eye with Craig MacTavish or Kevin Lowe, but neither of those guys are in the same position when Souray signed.

I appreciate when a player speaks his mind, and Souray was never afraid to answer any question, but what is gained by demanding a trade today?

Souray has a no-movement clause until June 30th, so he controls where he gets dealt despite his public demand. Even once July 1st hits he and his agent still have some say, because they will undoubtedly tell teams where he wants to play. No team will trade for a $5.4 cap-hit player who doesn’t want to be in their organization.

So what was Souray’s motivation?

He wants the world to know he wasn’t treated fairly? That Tambellini didn’t check up on him? Or that the Oilers management team isn’t as professional as the New Jersey Devils or Montreal Canadiens?

The Devils traded him at the deadline in 2000 to Montreal, the year they won their 2nd Stanley Cup. The Habs didn’t re-sign after he scored 26 goals. Why?

I don’t see Souray’s demand as another low point for the organization, because they can’t get lower than 30th. Souray is not Chris Pronger. The Rake led the Oilers to game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, while the Oilers haven’t made the dance once in Souray’s three seasons.

It is clear that Souray was frustrated and annoyed with Tambellini and the Oilers and the last three years have been tough, but it hasn’t been any harder on him than other players and the fans that have loyally doled out thousands of dollars only to watch a below-average product for three years.

While Souray has a right to be annoyed he should look in the mirror and realize that he isn’t completely innocent either.

He was part of a leadership group that missed the playoffs three years running. He was in the room where harmony was questioned. He accuses Tambellini of not being “family oriented” yet the area he could control, the dressing room, was far from harmonious.

Both sides are to blame in this divorce, and I think both sides will be better off without one another moving forward. Now it is up to Tambellini to try and salvage something out of Souray’s tenure in Edmonton.

The most important off-season in Oiler history starts today, and it just got a bit more interesting with Souray’s comments.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#151 Scott in Grande Prairie
April 12 2010, 12:58PM
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@SirFozz

Hey, everyone, before we continue our frenzy of casting aspersions on management as to whether or not they sent flowers to Souray while he was in hospital or didn't bother texting/phoning/writing him during his myriad injuries, would it not be prudent to wait and hear what the Oilers management response is?

I mean, they haven't commented yet, but they will. And maybe, just maybe, they'll call BS on a lot of what Souray has claimed.

Just throwin' it out there.

It seems like a lot of us are willing to accept Souray's account of things, carte-blanche.

Not sayin' he's wrong or out-of-line for bringing it up but I'd like to reserve judgement until the other side has had a chance to rebut. Maybe they won't, but maybe they will.

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#152 Rusty Duggan
April 12 2010, 12:59PM
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STRUDWICK IS THE NEW CORY CROSS!!!!! STRUDWICK IS THE NEW CORY CROSS!!!!! STRUDWICK IS THE NEW CORY CROSS!!!!!

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#153 swany
April 12 2010, 01:00PM
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Chris. wrote:

There are 800+ NHL players and not all of them are without ego.... Do we really want an entire team of beaten down dogs who will immediately fall into line with every single crack of the whip? This isn't the 60s. Players control their desitnation by the time they reach their prime playing years... if Tambellini and Lowe cannot foster or maintain positive relationships with their own players (even the difficult ones) then it is time for Katz to clean house.

Did they not hire a lady to do just that, I thought that after Prongs left because of "family" issues that the Oil hired a lady to keep in touch with all the players and there families.

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#154 Archaeologuy
April 12 2010, 01:00PM
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swany wrote:

This is one player, Gagner, Cogs, Hemmer have all stateed they like it here, Hemmer's shoulder was hurt and he played has he came out and said that the managment "made him play" NO. Look at the timming people, Souray's NTC is about to expirer now he knows that he will be moved and he has no control he's pissed off he thinks managment would do him a "favor" and move him to where he wanted to go, now he knows that's not the caes and he feels he's been treated "unfairly" look at me I'm a vet I need specail treatment, if that was the case 3 friggen years ago why not complain back then, why now it smells of sour grapes.

I wouldnt hang my hat on Hemmer stating they like it here based on what RB has been saying lately. Souray hasnt been injury free for 3 years. There have been other opportunities for the club to push him and others into doing things they arent comfortable with.

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#155 Gerald R. Ford
April 12 2010, 01:01PM
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Not saying Souray's blameless here, but it's really troubling to see (yet again) how deep the issues with this organization seem to run. What's most disappointing, is how Katz seems to be so apathetic about the situation. There's no way he would ever let the Rexall brand name suffer so consistently, and to the degree, that the Oilers have over the last few years. This isn't any one problem, it's an organizational epidemic, and he better get into the operating room with a scalpel. Stat!

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#156 Deep Oil
April 12 2010, 01:01PM
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How often did Tambellini talk to Khabibulin while he was in rehab, I mean rehabbing his back. Another pre trial conference TODAY for the tender that has an EXTREME DUI, but failed to communicate to management. It appears that nobody talks to nobody in the heartland of hockey.

Now it is more clear why Oiler management was reluctant to bring up Eberle into this toxic environment.

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#157 VMR
April 12 2010, 01:02PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

If you need a refresher as to how "well" Tambellini, Lowe, et al. are doing... check out the article Jonathon wrote on January 29th.

Apparently The Detroit Model Doesn't Work Jonathan Willis January 29 2010 12:01PM

http://oilersnation.com/2010/1/29/apparently-the-detroit-model-doesnt-work

I don't know how to put in the fancy links so please forgive me.

Thanks for the link I missed that discussion while I was on vacation.

I think there should be a lot of thought going on inside Katz group HQ on who should be running this organization. Souray's blast is another in a long line of reasons why this management team is running out of excuses. I dont think you can fire them (and I mean all of them, Lowe, Prendergast, Tambellini) without having someone to step in and Im worried if they make a rush decision we end up with Bob Stauffer and George Laraque running the team.

They should start a search now, look at good OHL/AHL/WHL management teams that have been able to consistently build teams. Get in talks and line someone up cause if this management team doesnt show signs that they've learned from their mistakes a move needs to be made.

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#158 swany
April 12 2010, 01:05PM
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@Archaeologuy

That beeing said if Hemmer wants out I bet it's because of the Players he is playing with rather than managment, if they get some snipers start winning and show we are on the upside I think Hemmer will re-sign. This was about the managment and from that side Hemmer has been happy as well as Cogs ans Gagner hell I can name the whole team because the only guy to compain about managment is Souray don't give me Pronger because Tambo wasn't even here then.

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#159 Archaeologuy
April 12 2010, 01:07PM
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@swany

I doubt you have close connections to the entire team. Am I supposed to believe you that you've spoken to the whole club about what they think of management?

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#160 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 12 2010, 01:08PM
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I can see why Souray is looking out for himself. He is 34 and is injury prone, one would think he realizes he doesn't have much time left in the NHL and wants to win. The guy has spent most of his career on weak teams and has had enough.

As for the Katz thing very interesting. I was talking to someone high up at Northlands over the weekend and they hinted at a few things, one of them being Katz possibly having funding problems.

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#161 Hemmertime
April 12 2010, 01:09PM
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Wanye wrote:

"But you talk about Prongs (Chris Pronger) and guys like that, and it should raise an eyebrow when players who leave town are skipping out with a smile on their face."

I have half a mind to think that Kevin Lowe needs to go and Tambellini needs to follow. This is the most damning quote I have probably ever read about the Oilers.

At least we know that the potholes aren't to blame for people signing here.

Management is giving colder shoulders than our -40 weather. Bazinga.

That quote made me raise my eyebrows too, because its the #1 thing a player will pick up on hearing about this. Pronger, Souray, Lubo did want out, Peca with the "travel"... everyone wants to leave.

When a player says this type of thing, and your team is 30th, its time for management to go. Lowe, Tambo should be gone - we fired our entire coaching staff for a better season last year, time to take next step and let go of management. Quinn probably doesn't want the job but I'd offer it, Renney takes over coaching with Quinn still being a sounding board for coaching decisions.

Hell, at this point - I'd be content hearing Marc Crawford got promoted to GM here if it meant inaction Tambo got the boot.

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#162 swany
April 12 2010, 01:11PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I doubt you have close connections to the entire team. Am I supposed to believe you that you've spoken to the whole club about what they think of management?

No have you, so one guy comes out and says all this and you believe ONE GUY if this was the norm don't you think more players would have spoken up by now, look at the timming he's pissed because he didn't get moved to his pick of a team now his ntc is up, in his eyes managment has treated him unfairly. Look at Horc he was asked what 5 times if he should be playing because of his shoulder and he kept saying NO.

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#163 Ducey
April 12 2010, 01:11PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Support Tambellini and Lowe all you want. This team had over 500 man-games lost due to injury and someone from the inside is saying that management is pushing players to play hurt.

You guys can choose to write it off as prima-donna antics or whatever, but I wonder who the other players will believe.

Come on man, you can't be so stupid as to think this is as simple as Tambellini/ Lowe vs Souray? You can't think that managment is responsible for the injuries can you? Did management break Souray's hand or cause him a concussion? Did they give Comrie mono? Did they cause Bulin's and JFJ's backs to have problems? Did Hemsky's should give out due to Lowe doing something? Did Pouliot get a hernia or whatever it was becuase of Tambi? I could go on but here is the list:http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=430126

You let me know when you find some injuries caused by Lowe/ Tambillini.

There are agents, multiple doctors, training staff, and coaches all involved in the decision to play.

Players are not going to "believe" anyone. They have all had their own relationships with management that are going to inform them as to whether they have been mistreated or want to be here.

Whether Souray was pressured to play hurt is irrelevant. That was three seasons ago!! Since then he had a fabulous year and this year he missed games because of a concussion and a broken hand. If it was such a big deal three years ago he should have complained then.

The reality is that this has a lot more to do with a vet being on a rebuilding last place team than it has with managment. If this team was in first place and managment treated him exactly the same way - do you think he would be demanding a trade?

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#164 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 12 2010, 01:12PM
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You know it probably would've been in Souray's best interest to keep things quiet and say I want to be dealt by July 1st or I am going public. Now if he really wants to be moved we can only move him to non-playoff teams.

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#165 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 12 2010, 01:13PM
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@Hemmertime

We acquired Peca for Mike York.

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#166 BUCK75
April 12 2010, 01:17PM
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@VMR

You might be half right. Talking to successful teams in the OHL might be a stretch though. Ask the Hunter Bros in London or Bob Boughner & Warren Rychel of Windsor how to build a team is funny. Those organizations buy (allegedly) their successful players.

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#167 SirFozz
April 12 2010, 01:17PM
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Scott in Grande Prairie wrote:

Hey, everyone, before we continue our frenzy of casting aspersions on management as to whether or not they sent flowers to Souray while he was in hospital or didn't bother texting/phoning/writing him during his myriad injuries, would it not be prudent to wait and hear what the Oilers management response is?

I mean, they haven't commented yet, but they will. And maybe, just maybe, they'll call BS on a lot of what Souray has claimed.

Just throwin' it out there.

It seems like a lot of us are willing to accept Souray's account of things, carte-blanche.

Not sayin' he's wrong or out-of-line for bringing it up but I'd like to reserve judgement until the other side has had a chance to rebut. Maybe they won't, but maybe they will.

Taking this indecent alone, I would tend to have your opinion. But how many times does this (poop) have to happen before we look at the common thread- management. I can no longer accept that the Oilers keep having bad luck in acquiring problem athletes.

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#168 Deep Oil
April 12 2010, 01:21PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Still throwing out speculation to further your agenda eh.

Got any proof the team is "sucking the hind tit in the financial department"?

Actually, LaForge placed a story in the Edmonton Journal and had a live blog stating the Oilers lost money last year.

This is some dialogue from www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=14793

3. You recently claimed the Edmonton Oilers ''lost quite a bit of money'' in the past year, in addition to implying the Oilers could relocate without the help of a new arena. If a top 10 revenue generating team is having difficulty making money, are you unintentionally implying 20 other teams in the league are in financial difficulty?

Wow, that’s a loaded question. It’s become pretty clear from what’s happened in Pittsburgh, Quebec City and elsewhere that the viability of an NHL franchise is directly tied to the adequacy of its arena facility. That said, we are totally focused on putting the Oilers at the heart of our city and the revitalization of our downtown.

Enough said.

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#169 swany
April 12 2010, 01:23PM
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Maybe I have to change my stance on this one, just talked to someone that said the Oil NEW he was hurt and couldn't play but he did anyways, Montreal told the Oil that he needed 6 months off but he started anyways now was this his decision or was he pushed to play.

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#170 rubbertrout
April 12 2010, 01:25PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

But how can the Oilers expect anyone to be a "team guy" if this is how the players are treated?

He might not be being an Oiler-first guy right now, but if he's accurately describing the team policy with regards to injured players then what he's saying IS team first. Blowing the whistle on this crap can only help his (soon to be ex) teammates in the future.

I dont like that he has publicly demanded a trade, but if you get past that then the claims he's making are serious and have implications about why the culture of the team has died in recent seasons.

Still waiting for evidence that I was "supporting" management.

Look at all the people that have simply accepted what he has said about injuries and playing through injuries. Sure there are guys on the Oil that have played through injuries. There are also guys like that on every team.

IF what he says is true then I agree that this is unacceptable. Of course I'm pretty sure there is a grievance process to follow to make such a complaint (this would be expected in a collectively bargained labour situation--if someone knows the specific procedure I would love to hear about it).

All he has done is mouthed off in the media and pointed the finger at some perceived wrongdoings that he suffered at the hands of management three years ago that he didn't complain about until he wanted to force a trade.

It is working too because everyone is happy to pile this latest allegation on the idiots we have running the show. To suggest that he has some kind of altruistic bent and that he is mentioning this now to "help" the team by protecting other players is pretty ludicrous.

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#171 Archaeologuy
April 12 2010, 01:26PM
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@Ducey

"Whether Souray was pressured to play hurt is irrelevant"

It didnt seem irrelevant to Souray. This IS Management vs Souray, he's made it clear that is the case.

If you dont want to believe that pressuring players to play before they're ready causes more injuries that's up to you, I guess.

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#172 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 12 2010, 01:26PM
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swany wrote:

Maybe I have to change my stance on this one, just talked to someone that said the Oil NEW he was hurt and couldn't play but he did anyways, Montreal told the Oil that he needed 6 months off but he started anyways now was this his decision or was he pushed to play.

If you're going to write a word in all caps maybe spell it right. KNEW.

Anyways I thought the team knew about his problem. I just wonder if the team asking him if he was ready after 5 months made Souray believe they were rushing him? I mean most guys that are out for 6 months are never out exactly 6 months, so is it really that bad if they were questioning him?

I guess it really depends on what was exactly said.

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#173 madjam
April 12 2010, 01:26PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

You're unbelievable. If you think its ok to pressure people to work in unsafe conditions then there isnt anything to be said between us on this topic. Choosing to play and being told to play hurt are two different things. Pitkanen wasnt comfortable with it here, Souray wasnt comfortable with it here; Hemsky, Souray, Horcoff, Smid, and others have been injured long term because of it, but you're right, nothing's wrong with it.

They are pro players who play through all kinds of injuries, so imagine what it takes for them not to be comfortable playing.

Well said Arch . I have been on both sides of union and management and seen first hand many a time the intimidating tactics ,especially from management side, that overstep their power and impliment programs not agreeable to any employee nor within the contact ( or spirit in which it was signed ) . I've seen many a company manage by grievance while they run roughshod over their employees putting them in harms way . This system of management is far more engrooved in our culture than most realize . Most employees never have the courage , however, to challenge their superiors in management or union , and kiss the ass of them rather than risk a backlash . Management backs on the employees taking the fall rightly and very often wrongly - such is the life and expectancy of a normal worker . Souray did , and i respect him for it .

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#174 Deep Oil
April 12 2010, 01:27PM
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@ Ogden Brother

Your quote.... As for the Katz thing very interesting. I was talking to someone high up at Northlands over the weekend and they hinted at a few things, one of them being Katz possibly having funding problems

With losing $100 million in profit in Ontario, if other provinces follow suit, this is probably a $300 - $400 million profit hit, for his backers of Rexall Drugs.

With a mortgage on his house, a mortgage on the team from CIT GROUP, maybe he can use his settlement from his brother inlaw over NORTH AMERICAN ROAD, to fund the arena development.

Alleged billionaire.

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#175 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 12 2010, 01:28PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

"Whether Souray was pressured to play hurt is irrelevant"

It didnt seem irrelevant to Souray. This IS Management vs Souray, he's made it clear that is the case.

If you dont want to believe that pressuring players to play before they're ready causes more injuries that's up to you, I guess.

Were they pressured or was it the team asking how he was doing a little too much? I mean I'd really like to know what actually was said, because there is a possibilty that the Oilers were just asking him too often and Souary took it the wrong way.

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#176 Archaeologuy
April 12 2010, 01:29PM
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@rubbertrout

"To suggest that he has some kind of altruistic bent and that he is mentioning this now to "help" the team by protecting other players is pretty ludicrous."

And to suggest he is a complete liar driven only by his prima-donna ego is just as ludicrous.

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#177 Salsa Shark
April 12 2010, 01:30PM
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On the argument regarding the man-games lost. Doesn't that indicate that we are not rushing people back? I mean, if this total is with an incredible amount of pressure to come back and play injured, how much worse of a team would we have been without it? I don't think this is the case.

Souray says he was heavily pressured to play but then not contacted during this injury? And he quotes them as saying "When are you going to play?". Thats badgering? Or is that checking up on a player? The very thing he was complaining they weren't doing lately. Seems odd.

Then he throws this hand grenade of a report at management. Sure, this could get Tamb fired. But there's collateral damage to everyone on that team. The people he was supposed to look out for as a leader. But now he has a cry-day and decides he's going to sour the image of the team further. Saying 'sorry, its not the players or city, its the management' doesn't stop this report from having a negative effect come Free Agency. When we spend another summer like the last two trying to get players (though hopefully not another Hossa/Heatley) we'll have Sheldon Souray to thank for increased difficulty as we try to convince people Edmonton isn't sh*t, just our management is. I'm sure Gagner and the other kids are very thankful.

And the worst part. Saying he was blinded by the history of the Oilers when he signed? Like he's some star-struck pre-teen? So he really should have seen through the cleverly cast guise management had constructed to sign him? F*ck him. He knew what he was getting into. If he didn't he should leave the decision making process up to his agent from now on. It would prevent him from signing with another team where he's adored by the fanbase, puts up allstar offensive numbers when healthy, and championed as the new captain. If you can't play for the management, play for the fans. If you can't do either, you're a dick.

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#178 Senator Theo
April 12 2010, 01:31PM
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Why don't we see if we can swing another deal down south while there are still Sutters manning the ship?

A high profile defenseman like Souray with a questionable contract and a couple years left? I bet the Sutter Bros. are salivating just thinking about it. They'll find a way to fit another d-man under the cap!

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#179 NotASourayFan
April 12 2010, 01:34PM
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Wah wah, cry me a river Souray. Maybe you just don't want to leave? After all the first time we were going to trade you, you busted your hand on Iginla's head. Now that we're probably going to trade you again, you give us this foolish tirade. The Oilers would be better off to sit your glass butt down (preferably somwhere it can't break) for the entire season, if not both seasons remaining on his contract. Management needs to show this clown that he can't boss them around. I'd be shocked if any GM was dumb enough to take him now. After all, why risk being called out publically? If he did it once he'll do it again. Thanks for the one good year, Sheldon. Doesn't make up for the 2-4 useless ones.

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#180 Harlie
April 12 2010, 01:36PM
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what's with Stauffer and his 30,000 feet in the air analogy? He trotted that stupid saying out about 10 times in a 5 minute segment on HNIC on Sirius radio on Tuesday of last week and today he's trotting it out again on his show. Brutal!

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#181 Scott in Grande Prairie
April 12 2010, 01:40PM
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@SirFozz

Again, fair enough. Everyone's welcome to draw whatever conclusions they wish vis-a-vis Souray. That's the fun part about blogs and fan sites.

As for me, I've decided that I'm not necessarily going to allow Souray's assertions to colour my opinion of Oilers management past and present (remember, the chronology on this covers the tenure of two GMs), at least until I've heard management's side of things.

That said, I can't help but wonder if Souray realizes how absurd this looks from a distance.

Think about it: He's complaining that management coerced him into playing through an injury three years ago AND he's chosen do complain at the end of a season in which the Oilers set a team record (I assume) for man-games lost to injury (500-plus). In other words, a ton of guys have sat out this year with various ailments and, presumably, none have felt obligated to come back before they were healthy enough to do.

And, again, if I was in the media right now, I'd be putting one very blunt question to Souray: Why didn't you file a grievance with the NHLPA if you felt you were being rushed back from an injury? You've had nearly three years to do so. Why not last summer or the summer before that?

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#182 rubbertrout
April 12 2010, 01:43PM
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@Archaeologuy

Not sure where I said he was a "complete liar driven only by his prima-donna ego". Please feel free to point it out to me. Concersely your exact words were

He might not be being an Oiler-first guy right now, but if he's accurately describing the team policy with regards to injured players then what he's saying IS team first. Blowing the whistle on this crap can only help his (soon to be ex) teammates in the future.

I'm just painting by numbers here.

A. He wanted out and gave a list of destinations (I think this occurred between Jan and now so it looks like there was at least some communication between his camp and the Oil)

B. He wasn't traded at the deadline (likely due to his injuires but who knows what the market would have been in any event).

C. He didn't once say that he had a problem with being pressured to come back early until now. He certainly didn't say or do anything 3 years ago which is the time frame he referenced as his example.

D. If he isn't talking to management (and this is stated as a problem by him as he apparently is an "asset" that needs to be "managed" how exactly is the management team pressuring him?

I'm not saying that Lowe and Tambo have done a good job (and I'm feeling like broken record here). If there is a problem evidenced by more than the spouting off about old news by a guy who wants out then for sure it needs to be dealt with and probably will be investigated.

From my perspective if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is probably a duck.

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#183 rubbertrout
April 12 2010, 01:45PM
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@Scott in Grande Prairie

And, again, if I was in the media right now, I'd be putting one very blunt question to Souray: Why didn't you file a grievance with the NHLPA if you felt you were being rushed back from an injury? You've had nearly three years to do so. Why not last summer or the summer before that?

X 1000

If had said/done something at the time then I might buy it.

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#184 Bucknuck
April 12 2010, 01:45PM
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@Senator Theo

~Staios for Souray straight up~

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#185 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
April 12 2010, 01:48PM
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Can we have an "all of the above" button on the poll, or is it more of a "choose the most correct answer" thing?

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#186 Archaeologuy
April 12 2010, 01:53PM
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@rubbertrout

I stand by those words. Souray saw a problem and spoke out against it. He's free to do that because he was on his way out.

I think that if there's truth behind his allegations then by coming out and making it public he's helping his teammates who are probably also being pressured to play hurt.

You're asking where you said he was a complete liar driven only by his prima-donna ego, but then you go on to list all the reasons you dont think he's being truthful. Come on.

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#187 Senator Theo
April 12 2010, 01:53PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

~Staios for Souray straight up~

Haha - no, they *collect* defensmen down there - they down' trade them away (Dion excluded)!

~ Since they won't be able to be in the same dressing room, maybe we could take Iginla off their hands.

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#188 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
April 12 2010, 01:54PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Haha - no, they *collect* defensmen down there - they down' trade them away (Dion excluded)!

~ Since they won't be able to be in the same dressing room, maybe we could take Iginla off their hands.

That's what strikes me as odd when people are suggesting Handzus as an addition to the Oil.

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#189 rubbertrout
April 12 2010, 01:59PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I stand by those words. Souray saw a problem and spoke out against it. He's free to do that because he was on his way out.

I think that if there's truth behind his allegations then by coming out and making it public he's helping his teammates who are probably also being pressured to play hurt.

You're asking where you said he was a complete liar driven only by his prima-donna ego, but then you go on to list all the reasons you dont think he's being truthful. Come on.

Look Arch I agree with a lot you say but I think you are way off simply accepting everything Souray has to say on this point at face value without ever having heard the other side of the equation and not recognizing that there are certainly reasons to suspect his motives given the rather convenient timing.

"Souray saw a problem and spoke out against it (3 years after the fact when he was trying to force his way out of a losing situation)."*

*fixed.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one my friend. Now I know that if I want to receive your wrath I can talk about this, Schremp, or trading Hemmer for picks.

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#190 wyseguy
April 12 2010, 02:02PM
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It took a bit to digest this morning, but now I think this whole season and the Souray stuff is the best thing that could have happened to our Oilers.

We've spent years fighting for 8th thinking we were again on the cusp of greatness and a big FA signing would put us over the top. When it was pretty obvious to everyone else that we weren't. Yet, we weren't bad enough to stock up with a Kane, Stamkos or Duchesne.

Souray calling out the management is a good thing too. Even if it's a bunch of crap, any good organization should at least hear the feedback out and reflect on themselves honestly.

More with Souray, we all agree that we need to unload him to speed up the rebuild, likely Khabibulin too, but I have no idea how they'll make either happen. When Pronger left, I was mad. With today's Souray comments, I couldn't care less, I wanted him gone anyways. If the message came from Gagner or maybe Gilbert, I'd be more worried that even our bright eyed youngsters are jaded, then we'd really be in trouble. But Souray, I just don't care. A guy I don't want forces our management to ask themselves some tough questions, it's all good.

Sometimes you can only learn from your mistakes once they become abundantly evident. When you're going through each year just below average, you can make some excuses. When you come in last, it gives you a pretty clear message that change has to happen. That and we'll have a pretty damn good prospect to start over with makes this all worthwhile and gives me some hope.

Yes it sucks, but I think all this had to happen for positive change.

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#191 Archaeologuy
April 12 2010, 02:06PM
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@rubbertrout

Ha ha ha. Fair enough. I would like to hear other players' anonymous responses to these allegations as well as word from Management. I dont think Management will say anything though.

I'm not convinced this is limited to a single incident 3 years ago. There has to be more to this, IMO. He was on his way out one way or the other, I dont think that he was doing this to force his way out. He was practically out the door already.

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#192 madjam
April 12 2010, 02:09PM
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Time for some to take the callouses off their eyes . Their are many a program and corporate culture that works with agencies set up provincially and federally to undermine the very workers they are supposed to be protecting . They (business ) are often given incentives to get the injured staff off the "books" and back into the workforce and many of those programs and intimidating practices are not in the best interests of the employee . I'm sure some of you know first hand some of the these tactics, as you have been on the wrong end of them . How many of you have had your claims turned down while trying to fight these while still trying to get better ? It's often common practice to intimidate workers back to work prematurely coupled with denying their claims . Why ? They have incentive to do it , and very few will have the courage and strength to take them on which makes the financial bottom brighter for agencies and employers . I find it hard to believe that maybe that type of sentiment and culture does not exist in Oilers culture if Souray comments have any validy ! It does weed out the fakers and agency abusers to a small extent , but it's hell for those majority of people that require that assistance ,and should not be denied .

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#193 rubbertrout
April 12 2010, 02:17PM
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@madjam

I think professional sports and pretty much any other kind of "worker" protection are apples and oranges. If the player ends up on LTIR then the costs of the player are usually covered by the insurance policies that the team picks up on most large contract players.

In many cases, it is actually better financially for a team to have its star player shelved for the year and collect insurance. That is especially true when the other revenues that the team is bringing in are pretty much maxed out already.

It might not be the case if you are dealing with one of the sun-belt team where they need to stars to play to protect the already suspect gate revenue that the teams have coming in.

Also let's consider the fact that all of these guys have not just the NHLPA but also their agents to help look after their interests. Is there inequality of bargaining power? Perhaps a little bit but let's not compare these guys to the electrician who is a member of IBEW local 454.

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#194 SirFozz
April 12 2010, 02:18PM
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@Scott in Grande Prairie

By no means do I absolve Souray of any blame this case. But I am exhausted with spending energy screaming at ex-oilers and defending this organization. One or two of these situations is one thing, but for it to continue to happen time and time again with different players tells me something.

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#195 Chris.
April 12 2010, 02:19PM
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I remember the summer right before the Comrie fiasco. Comrie had had a broken thumb or something, and a tough playoff performance against Dallas... Some of the sentiment around E-town was that the rich kid, cry-baby, didn't wanna play with a boo-boo on his finger. I vageuly remeber reading in a paper that it would be difficult for a player like Comrie to look Kevin Lowe in the eye, and use his injury as an excuse, when Lowe was the type of player who laced 'em up on a broken ankle. I also remember the high praise given to Smith by MacT for having the pain threshold of "a cadaver".

I have a gut feeling that some of the old time machismo culture has been held over from the Boy's On The Bus era. Souray's allegations that he was under some pressure to play when he wasn't yet ready... just ring true.

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#196 Senator Theo
April 12 2010, 02:22PM
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no doubt - could be a bit awkward, to say the least!

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#197 OilFan
April 12 2010, 02:30PM
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So who do you beleive ?

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#198 Chickenplucker
April 12 2010, 02:30PM
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madjam wrote:

Time for some to take the callouses off their eyes . Their are many a program and corporate culture that works with agencies set up provincially and federally to undermine the very workers they are supposed to be protecting . They (business ) are often given incentives to get the injured staff off the "books" and back into the workforce and many of those programs and intimidating practices are not in the best interests of the employee . I'm sure some of you know first hand some of the these tactics, as you have been on the wrong end of them . How many of you have had your claims turned down while trying to fight these while still trying to get better ? It's often common practice to intimidate workers back to work prematurely coupled with denying their claims . Why ? They have incentive to do it , and very few will have the courage and strength to take them on which makes the financial bottom brighter for agencies and employers . I find it hard to believe that maybe that type of sentiment and culture does not exist in Oilers culture if Souray comments have any validy ! It does weed out the fakers and agency abusers to a small extent , but it's hell for those majority of people that require that assistance ,and should not be denied .

Why do you find it hard to believe that this sentiment exists in the Oilers organization?

Injured players are assessed and then their timelines for return are adjusted. If it was initially thought that Souray would be out for six months but the rehab was working well it is very possible that the timeline for his return would be adjusted and his return would be sooner than expected.

Injury timelines are rarely the length of time given at the initial assessment.

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#199 Scott in Grande Prairie
April 12 2010, 02:31PM
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To no one in particular: Just remember the two most important numbers with this. 500 and 3.

500 man-games lost due to injury this season.

Nearly 3 years from the time he was "forced" to play and the time he opted to speak out about it.

Both of those numbers aren't working in Souray's favour right now.

Of course, the Oilers also have to deal with the wicked numbers in Souray's contract. It'll make him a little difficult to deal, but not necessarily so if the Oilers are willing to take back some salary (and they probably would in this case).

One more thing: Don't let this stuff bother you too much. This is pretty much how it happened when guys like Coffey and Messier and Anderson left town. A lot of people forget that Messier was under contract when he sat out camp in the fall of 1991 and demanded a trade because he didn't like the way the organization was heading.

Back then, Mess was dead-on-balls right - the Oilers were headed for a fall and they didn't have very much in the way of prospects around.

Nineteen years later, the situation is a little different. Souray isn't Messier and I'd suggest there's a lot more in the system. Plus, the Oilers have bottomed out.

Anyway, chin up, people. This is how she goes sometimes.

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#200 OilFan
April 12 2010, 02:34PM
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@Chris.

Ok go ahead a beleive Souray. Can't you see he is making excuses why he wants out instead of just coming out and being honest ? I though before it was his kids now this. Seems fishy

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