Tambellini has his say... and, YES, Oilers pick first!!!

Robin Brownlee
April 13 2010 04:54PM

After taking two days to contemplate Sheldon Souray's public trade request and what can only be characterized as a scathing indictment of Edmonton Oilers management, GM Steve Tambellini had his say this afternoon.

Unavailable to media after Souray's inflammatory comments ran on Sportsnet.ca, Tambellini issued a statement via a news release at 4 p.m., saying very little and pre-empting his own availability with local media that's scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Rexall Place.

As per the release:

“Sheldon’s comments are unfortunate and counterproductive, but we are going to manage through this in a responsible and professional manner.

"We understand Sheldon has had a tough year and he has a desire to play elsewhere. His additional comments regarding being 'forced to play' when injured are far more serious and my stance is that they are demonstrably untrue.”

Atta boy, Steve. You tell him.

THAT'S IT?

Given Souray's accusation the Oilers made him return from a shoulder injury before he was ready to play to start the 2007-08 season with a freshly inked $27-million contract in his hip pocket, you'd think that Tambellini might have fired back.

Considering Souray essentially called Tambellini a lousy communicator who never even bothered to talk to him while he was recovering from a broken hand this season, you'd think Tambellini might have served up something today that would disprove that. But no.

Perhaps a page from coach Pat Quinn, who offered this about Souray in his meeting with media this morning.

"It's been no secret here," Quinn said of Souray's discontent and desire to be traded. "He's made it clear for a long time.

"I'm one of those guys that if you don't want to play here, don't screw around. Get the hell out."

Added Quinn: "If you have one guy sitting over there who doesn't bloody well want to be here, how do you build trust? How do you have a team? You don't. Sheldon knows how I feel about that sort of thing."

UPDATE: OILERS PICK FIRST!!!!

As per Oilers news release:

The Oilers have been awarded the first overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, being held in Los Angeles June 25-26, 2010.

The Oilers received the right to pick first overall when they won the NHL’s Draft Lottery, held Tuesday night in New York City.

“This is a significant moment for the organization and its an important part of the process moving forward. We have the first overall pick in this year’s draft,” Tambellini said. “This is a very exciting time for our organization and our fans. Securing the first overall draft selection tonight provides a tremendous opportunity for the Oilers."

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft will mark the first time in franchise history the Oilers will select first overall.

The Draft Lottery is a weighted lottery system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the NHL Entry Draft. It gives the teams that finish with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of winning the Draft Lottery.

Only the 14 teams that do not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired those clubs’ first-round draft picks, participate in the drawing.

Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The Lottery was incorporated in 1995 by the NHL.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show 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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#2 Matt Henderson
April 13 2010, 06:58PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

All I know is that the Oilers could really use a competent centre, and Taylor Hall is weird looking and likes the Flames. So, I mean really, case closed.

Seguin all the way!! Scores more goals, is a centre, has a better two way game, NOT a Flames Fan, doesnt look like an ugly duckling, doesnt have a meddling father (I heard that Hall's dad is more involved in Windsor's day to day crap than he should be on the Pipeline Show on the Team 1260), and it'll make Crash crazy ;)

WE WON WE WON WE WON!!!!!!

*Dances around like Wanye at a Miley Cyrus concert*

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#3 jeanshorts
April 13 2010, 06:09PM
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Everyone please take a long, hard look at Taylor Hall. Is that really the face we want to be forever immortalized in bronze statue form outside of Daryl Katz's Super Arena®?

At least Seguin looks like an actual human being.

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#4 jeanshorts
April 13 2010, 06:32PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Now begins the inevitable discussion about how the Oilers will screw this pick up

I don't know who I would pick if I had the magnificent bastards job. Tough call

All I know is that the Oilers could really use a competent centre, and Taylor Hall is weird looking and likes the Flames. So, I mean really, case closed.

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#5 Jimmer
April 13 2010, 07:12PM
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A first line centre with a right handed shot is exactly what this team needs considering we will have Penner & MPS (#1 & #2) on LW and Hemsky and Eberle (#1 & #2) on RW.

Having Seguin and Gagner as our (#1 & #2) centres gives me reason not to jump off a bridge living here in Calgary.

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#6 RossCreekNation
April 13 2010, 05:09PM
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This team needs Pat Quinn as GM & Tom Renney as Coach.

**F-TAP - FireTambelliniAndPrendergast

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#7 Gerald R. Ford
April 13 2010, 06:23PM
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Ah, THIS is what good news feels like!

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#8 jeanshorts
April 13 2010, 06:23PM
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AND HE'S A FLAMES FAN??????????

Officially dislike Taylor Hall*

*Unless the Oilers draft him.

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#9 Aleslav Smidsky
April 13 2010, 06:54PM
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I say pick Sequin.

I didn't like the Flames comment by Hall.

Him being a Flames fan might prevent his heart from fully being a true Oiler. Then the city/fans/media/management will bruise his ego and he will be the next unhappy departee.

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#10 Crust
April 14 2010, 10:37AM
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OilFan wrote:

I guess I'm the only one that hasn't been impressed by Whitney ? Why? What has he done ?

He hasn't looked that bad but next to AHL dman.

Well, obviously you don't know how it works around here....newest Oiler = latest saviour.

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#11 Ender
April 13 2010, 05:30PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

This team needs Pat Quinn as GM & Tom Renney as Coach.

**F-TAP - FireTambelliniAndPrendergast

A-freakin'-men. Props.

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#12 jeanshorts
April 13 2010, 05:42PM
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I'm actually surprised Tambo released a statement this soon. You'd think he would have needed at least the summer to really evaluate the Souray quotes.

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#13 Jeremy
April 13 2010, 06:20PM
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We Pick FIRST!!!!!!!

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#14 Milli
April 13 2010, 06:20PM
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WE WIN!!!!!!!!

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#15 Petr's Jofa
April 13 2010, 06:20PM
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EDMONTON WON SOMETHING!!!!

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#16 Skidplate
April 13 2010, 06:34PM
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I think we take Seguin. Book it.

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#17 Oilchange64
April 13 2010, 06:43PM
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I think a public coin flip is the way to go.

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#18 smiliegirl15
April 13 2010, 07:01PM
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Thanks Robin! I think that's better news than picking first!

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#19 ScotiaOil
April 13 2010, 07:14PM
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Man...

Eberle, Svensson, Lander, Petry, Omark, Seguin/Hall perhaps all in the mix. Good things ARE coming.

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#20 JaroslavPouzar
April 13 2010, 10:08PM
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true enough Oilfan.... but he's a similar pricetag, and Oiler needing center and he's never publically blasted Oil management for bad communication... thats good enough for me. :)

And that reminds me, by NO means are the Oil management just the victims here... it is THEIR job to stroke ego's and make sure everyone is doing ok. Its the players job to play. Souray should have just said "no" if he wasn't healthy.. nobody to blame but him. Suck it up Sheldon. YOU chose to play, end of story. Having said that, if Sourays comments are true, that he hasn't talked tyo Tambi since January... thats pretty weak. What the %&^% else are you doing all the time. There are far too many compalints of fans and now players that Tambellini doesn't communicate well enough.

IMO, call up Stevie Y., and offer him the job of President and GM of the Oilers....heck throw any position it takes to get him. There is NO better respected guy in the world of hockey than Steve. Too bad it stands as much a chance of happening as the Oilers travelling back in time to draft Shane Doan instead of Steve Kelly...

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#21 OilFan
April 14 2010, 09:05AM
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@Robin Brownlee

So you think Tambellini should get into a media pissing match ? This may be good for you media guys but not the organization. Why have he ( Tambellini ) she ( Souray) said ?

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#22 Rusty Duggan
April 14 2010, 09:12AM
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Souray is all class. That's why he and Spector had their article released the day before the draft lottery. GET THE F out Souray, and stop bringing us fans down as a ploy to get your broken ass out of town. Shouldn't have gotten into a fight, and we could have moved you quietly, you self centered ass! MAN the f up Shelly!

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#23 Mouse
April 14 2010, 10:42AM
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OilFan wrote:

I guess I'm the only one that hasn't been impressed by Whitney ? Why? What has he done ?

He hasn't looked that bad but next to AHL dman.

Doesn't looking really good playing with AHL dmen doing something. How about elevating Gilberts play 14000% immediately after he got here.

I don't consider him a saviour and am not really sure he should be captain, but give the guy the credit he deserves. He played really well since he came over.

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#24 Pokey Reddock
April 14 2010, 10:42AM
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Had to chime in with my 2 cents from what I heard fans say on the radio and on here.

1. Pretty sure we can't trade Souray for a draft pick. Any team that takes Souray is going to be giving us Salary and/or a bad contract back. IT'S THE CAP ERA NOW

2. Boston is not going to trade their Second pick to the Oilers for any of the combinations: Souray, Hemsky, Penner, or O'sullivan, Horcoff, Nilsson.

They want their pick, and it's fairly obvious they want Hall.

3.Souray's response was ill-timed. It was done to hurt the team moving forward. It surely doesn't help his cause getting traded.

4. Tambo's generic (and tardy) response to Souray's comments almost reinforce Souray's allegations of a lack of communication from management to players. (I agree with Brownlee on this one).

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#25 RossCreekNation
April 14 2010, 11:34AM
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ATTN: Anyone considering Wade Redden:

He literally has the worst contract in the league. Back away from the 'puter screen.

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#26 BBOil
April 14 2010, 11:45AM
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I understand the frustration with Tambs generic response, but at the same time what is he supposed to say? That is an open question to everyone. I just want to know what response would have been suffice for the media and us the fans. I personally don't need him to say anything. Souray wants out, he made some allegations against management, Tambs said those allegations are untrue. I thought the statement was just fine. We know he wants out, we're going to work on that and we didn't pressure him to play hurt. Think that pretty much gets his stance across.

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#27 Scott in Grande Prairie
April 14 2010, 11:46AM
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C'mon, guys. Let's move on from the "when-the-Oilers-should-have-responded-to-Souray" discussion.

Really, who cares? Souray's diatribe on Sunday was the opening volley in a game that's going to be played out all summer. I'm sure there will be more back-and-forth and it'll be up to beat reporters like Robin to help provide the stage for it (like I say, that's the fun part about being in the media). This ain't over yet.

Here's something to help put this Souray stuff in proper perspective: What Souray has done is pretty much exactly what guys named Messier, Coffey and Moog did back in the day (a lot of people forget that Messier was under contract when he asked for the trade; he wasn't a hold-out).

When that happens, you pretty much have to mitigate damage by minding your P's and Q's and working on getting the best deal. As I recall, Slats used to love the little wars-of-words with players - he seemed to relish in it. But, in the end, I'm not sure if he ever really accomplished very much ripping malcontents in the media, at least not in the later years.

If I'm Darryl Katz, I'd be a lot more satisfied that Tambo is working the phones on a Souray trade rather than his one-liners for the soapbox.

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#28 RossCreekNation
April 14 2010, 12:05PM
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Its a fresh page... can we fornever more mention the name *deep breath* Redden (the only way he gets moved is if he's the $ part of the equation in a Lecavalier deal)? Like honestly, I'd laugh my a$$ off if the Oil acquired him and all, but I'm just looking out for my fellow citizens. No more! K?

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#29 Matty31
April 13 2010, 05:02PM
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TAMBO is definitely holding back and being diplomatic. He needs to concentrate all his positive energy into getting that #1 pick in an hour!!!

Mr Brownlee who should we pick???

OF NOTE....Patrick O'Sullivan was +2 in the Oilers 7-2 loss to the ducks. WTF?!?!?!?

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#30 HOFFFF
April 13 2010, 05:04PM
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The Oilers certainly sit back and say nothing. They always have to assess the hell out of everything. Maybe thats not such a bad thing, but when you just got ripped on by someone, you should be able to discuss it, retort, reply, scream holler, do whatever. But they have to take a few days and prepare proper statements. For once, show some passion.

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#31 E-Mac
April 13 2010, 05:05PM
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Hopefully we will land something of value in return. There is no chance of landing something even remotely as sexy, ...sigh.

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#32 BigE91
April 13 2010, 05:09PM
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A backhanded, off the cuff reaction at this point would only tie the Oilers hands further making Souray impossible to move, his value is minimal already.

Any chance he has now become a candidate for a buyout?

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#33 GSC
April 13 2010, 05:14PM
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Robin,

Are you taking the Kansas approach here ("Fight Fire with Fire")?

In my book, Tambi is in a damned if you, damned if you don't situation. If he comes off as too soft, he'll look spineless and it will show that the organization can be pushed around. If he comes off as too harsh, it projects the image that management really is arrogant and is the main culprit in the organization's problems. Either way, he's screwed and the return on Souray isn't going to be pretty.

I'm not sure what he can say that will defuse the situation...as Jack Ryan said in Clear and Present Danger, "There's no sense defusing a bomb after it's already gone off."

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#36 RossCreekNation
April 13 2010, 05:31PM
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@Robin Brownlee

How much value does Souray have to the Rangers if there's any feeling MacTavish could be their next coach (it was stated today that Tortarella would be back, but who knows)?

How about Dallas, given their current ownership situation? Doesn't seem likely (although it makes sense from a hockey perspective).

Which turns me to St. Louis. After taking a step back this year and missing the playoffs, the Blues are gonna want to make a push to get back. With Kariya & Tkachuk coming off the books, they've got some cap room, too. They've also got a defenseman they'd like to move in Eric Brewer (1 yr left @ 4.25). I don't expect the return to be much higher than that... would the Oilers have interest?

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 13 2010, 05:32PM
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I don't really have a problem with Tambo's response, I don't see much point in having a public pissing match that turns into a he said, she said situation.

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#38 Ender
April 13 2010, 05:37PM
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GSC wrote:

Robin,

Are you taking the Kansas approach here ("Fight Fire with Fire")?

In my book, Tambi is in a damned if you, damned if you don't situation. If he comes off as too soft, he'll look spineless and it will show that the organization can be pushed around. If he comes off as too harsh, it projects the image that management really is arrogant and is the main culprit in the organization's problems. Either way, he's screwed and the return on Souray isn't going to be pretty.

I'm not sure what he can say that will defuse the situation...as Jack Ryan said in Clear and Present Danger, "There's no sense defusing a bomb after it's already gone off."

I think there's something to this statement. On top of that, perhaps Tambi didn't defend his lack of communication with Souray while in the hospital because there wasn't much to say. Quinn seems to indicate that there has been some bitterness surrounding Souray for some time. I've been in management for a number of years and while I don't claim to have written any books on the subject, I know there are some employees I would take flowers to in the hospital (and have) and other employees where my attitude is 'Meh. Let me know if he dies.' It's easy for Souray to paint the organization as uncaring, but perhaps he hasn't given them much to feel all snuggly about. If that's the case, the less Tambi says about it, the better. It serves no one's interests to get in a mudfight now.

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#39 Petr's Jofa
April 13 2010, 05:41PM
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Lottery odds...

25.0% - Edmonton Oilers

18.8% - Boston Bruins (from Toronto)

14.2% - Florida Panthers

10.7% - Columbus Blue Jackets

8.1% - New York Islanders

6.2% - Tampa Bay Lightning

4.7% - Carolina Hurricanes

3.6% - Atlanta Thrashers

2.7% - Minnesota Wild

2.1% - New York Rangers

1.5% - Dallas Stars

1.1% - Anaheim Ducks

0.8% - Calgary Flames

0.5% - St. Louis Blues

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#40 Crust
April 13 2010, 05:43PM
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Considering all the venom directed Souray's way, I doubt Tambellini feels any pressure to defend himself or management.

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#41 GSC
April 13 2010, 05:44PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't see the need for Tambellini to go off on Souray because that solves nothing, BUT, he should have either responded immediately to Souray's comments -- like when Spector asked for the Oilers side of the story -- or come up with a rebuttal with at least some teeth if he was going to wait. This response is both a day late and a dollar short.

As far the argument that a tougher response by Tambellini would only lessen Souray's value, that's dubious. Souray's injuries, his cap hit and his public trade request have diminished his value to next-to-nothing already.

I should have been clearer...a tougher response by Tambi might have the adverse effect of further swaying potential free agents away from signing in Edmonton. Too tough of a response adds fuel to the fire, making many believe that the management really is full of a bunch of arrogant pricks.

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#42 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 13 2010, 05:45PM
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@Ender

"he hasn't given them much to feel all snuggly about"

I try not to read too much into situations like this, but I've got to say when ever I seen Souray playing in person this year he looked completly disintersted. I would guess he's been a malcontent for a while.

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#43 Slats
April 13 2010, 05:45PM
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@RossCreekNation

at leaset Brewer and Souray have similar questionable histories in terms of health and are as sturdy as the $6.00 Man.

I would do that deal - at least Brewer comes to play if he can.

Also I think players in the league are able to sniff out what Souray is really trying to do and perhaps he got some bad agent advice but it was easy for him to push Edmonton management under the bus that many had already done before. In the end I think he loses though.

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#44 Slats
April 13 2010, 05:54PM
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Almost 600 Games lost to injury - yeah it sounds to me that the coaches were pushing people to play early! gimme a break.

Sheldon - "No NHL team likes a whiner" - good luck in KHL.

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#45 The Real Scuba Steve
April 13 2010, 05:57PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I'm actually surprised Tambo released a statement this soon. You'd think he would have needed at least the summer to really evaluate the Souray quotes.

No kidding, this is out of character for Tambo. lol

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#46 JackBauer
April 13 2010, 05:58PM
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I can totally see this organization turning into the maple leafs or the Islanders and becoming the long standing joke of the league.

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#47 Milli
April 13 2010, 06:02PM
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It's just about time...the misery begins to end tonight!!!

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#48 Milli
April 13 2010, 06:11PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Everyone please take a long, hard look at Taylor Hall. Is that really the face we want to be forever immortalized in bronze statue form outside of Daryl Katz's Super Arena®?

At least Seguin looks like an actual human being.

I was thinking the exact same thing!!!! FREAKY!!!

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#49 magisterrex
April 13 2010, 06:16PM
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Tambi made the right call. Refute without adding more fuel to the fire. Someone has to be the professional in this debacle.

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#50 jeanshorts
April 13 2010, 06:18PM
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Seguin in a sharp looking suit. Hall in a golf shirt*.

INTERESTING.

*clearly a Tiger Woods fan which immediately brings his character into question.

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