Souray: a marriage of convenience?

Robin Brownlee
August 05 2010 02:51PM

CALGARY, AB, CANADA - AUGUST 4: Steve Staios of the Calgary Flames puts on his jersey at the NHL Heritage Classic Press Conference at McMahon Stadium on August 4, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

My wife told me she plans to get a clown to show up at my son Sam's 4th birthday party next weekend and I immediately envisioned a player from the Calgary Flames showing up at my house in that hideous throwback jersey they just unveiled for the Heritage Classic.

As ugly as those threads are -- and with the obligatory Ronald McDonald shot fired at the City of Cows, where they'll be announcing plans for fright wigs, red-striped socks and floppy skates to complete the look next week -- the Flames have nothing on the Edmonton Oilers when it comes to ugly and their stalemate with Sheldon Souray.

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 7: Sheldon Souray #44 of the Edmonton Oilers skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers on December 7, 2009 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Oilers defeated the Panthers 3-2 in a shoot out. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Souray, as everybody knows by now, has been profoundly unhappy with his lot in life with the Oilers for a long time, and that's something he left little doubt about at the end of last season.

Given Souray's criticism of the team in general, which is absolute gold for reporters but blasphemy to the ears of Kevin Lowe, Steve Tambellini and those who believe no amount of bungling by the Oilers justifies a public airing like Souray delivered, it's safe to say the relationship is done.

My question -- and it's one that's been posed by others here -- is this: for the good of Souray and the Oilers, and in the name of expediting the process of getting No. 44 gone, does it make sense for both sides to try to patch things up until the phone rings?

Can Souray and the Oilers fake it to move things along?

WHAT SAY YOU?

Jonathan Willis, for one, raised the question not long ago and I had my say in the comments then -- I don't think it's a great idea to have a player as unhappy as Souray clearly is sitting in a dressing room full of young prospects as the Oilers set out on a rebuild.

That's my gut reaction, and it's something that seldom steers me wrong. That said, and given that the Oilers haven't been able to give Souray away despite trying every which way you can name, does it make any real sense to simply bury him in the minors to keep him away from all those tender ears and impressionable minds?

Does it make sense to send Souray a message and try to teach him a lesson? I don't think the money the Oilers are paying Souray spends any different if he's drawing it in the minors amid admiring glances from young ladies in Oklahoma City or "getting it" here in Edmonton, but is there a need for a symbolic slap on the wrist? You tell me.

On the flipside, what's the real downside of having Souray report to training camp, even if he and the Oilers must hold their noses, with the intention of at least starting the season here? Is there one?

MONEY SPENT

Until the Oilers can unload him, owner Daryl Katz is on the hook for $4.5 million for each of the next two seasons whether Souray plays a minute in Edmonton or not.

And, while it might suck to be staying in AHL hotels and enduring AHL travel instead of going first-class in the NHL, Souray isn't going to turn his back on that stack of cake and refuse to report.

So, again, is it in the best interests of both parties to patch things up, at least to the point where they can co-exist and tolerate each other until Souray again has enough value to garner a bucket of pucks, anything? Would the Oilers accept a mea culpa from Souray? Should they?

Or, is it better in the long run for Katz to pay the price of a steep AHL ticket and get Souray the hell out and away from the kids during what's obviously a critical period of transition for the team?

Like a marriage gone bad, there are going to be trade-offs no matter which way the Oilers and Souray go. And, as has been made abundantly clear, this is a union forever broken.

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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#1 Oiler Country
August 05 2010, 04:14PM
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Ok, so Souray sours on the team and like a monkey in the wild, throws poop at the oilers. As insulting as it was and as prideful as the oilers organization is, can the oilers just simply wipe the dirt from their face and say, "You've had your say, back to work"?

Obviously there should be reprimands with a dissatisfied player who slagged dirt so publicly at their own employer. Isn't there some form of payback within the organization where he should be made to re-pay his dues within the club, in order to make nice-nice?

I think so. It's in Souray's interest as well as the oilers. You cannot tell me that there has never been in the history of the NHL that a player has poo poo'd all over his team and after some time he didn't come back to be a better and brighter player.

There has to be be some give-take here isn't there.. Give Souray the opportunity to make nice, play his butt off and like RB said, garner a value higher than the bottled sweat off of Khabibulin's sweat rag.

Comrie and the oilers made up, and aside from the mono, he had an okay year, and furthermore, wanted to stay with the organization longer on his second go.

I think there is a possibility of a make up given some time, Souray even said himself he wouldn't be opposed returning to the team. Let him! But only if he comes with his head down, ready to work, shut his yap when you are here, no letter for him and he will get the locker next to the blue door.

Or is it past that?

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#2 DeeDee
August 06 2010, 09:26AM
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The way I understand it, after the end of the PREVIOUS season, Souray met privately with management and requested a trade.

This came after a very good season and his value was at its highest.

The guy snapped after a crappy season and after spending a year trying to leave the organization he shot his mouth off. If all he cared about was the money he could just show up at the rink every day and collect his cheques.

The Oilers had a long time to do something about the situation, and have to share some of the blame.

One of the reasons Souray was brought here was to try to encourage other high profile UFA's to come to Edmonton and that experiment failed miserably.

There doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground with Edmonton fans. The switch gets toggled from love to hate pretty quickly. Management is not always 100% correct in every siuation, and the players are not always 100% wrong.

The Oilers have two choices, buy out Souray or let him come back and play.

They are well under the cap and have an owner that can afford the buyout. If they consider him poison to the room then remove him.

I feel Souray can still come back. He didn't dump on the fans, or fellow players, he dumped on Management.

Press conference, apology, move on with the future.

Sticking him in the minors does nothing other than being vindictive. It certainly won't be a shining beacon of an example to try to attract more players to our town.

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#3 book¡e
August 05 2010, 03:15PM
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I think it depends.

1. Could Souray actually be happy here (with the changes in dressing room staff, trainers, coaches, players, etc.)?

2. Is Souray one of the 'problem guys' in the room in any way?

If the answers are yes and no in that order, then his playing would be fine.

If the answers are no and yes, then it would be better to pay him to sit on a beach somewhere.

As much as Souray vented about management, many of his frustrations may have been with the people and processes that the team had in place.

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#4 Quicksilver ballet
August 05 2010, 03:16PM
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I would take the high road and reach out to Souray....have Tambellini patch things up so when training camp starts in 6 weeks this isn't at all a distraction in the dressing room. A lot could go wrong as we've seen last year but a lot could go right with the new players we have here this season. We're a better team with a happy Sheldon Souray for 9 million over the next two years. I'd even go as far as putting the C on his shoulder till the future leader emerges on this team. Last time i checked we were short a gunslinger with an offensive upside or two.

Welcome back Sheldon.

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#5 Hunter
August 05 2010, 03:25PM
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Good read, Robin... I have been waiting to hear what happens in this saga since the story broke at the end of the year. I figured it would be dealt with by now...

You wrote "Does it make sense to send Souray a message and try to teach him a lesson?"

Do you think that there is any way that the lesson is to simply send him home and have him wait until a move is made? If we're not wanting him to taint the kids, why would we start with having him at camp with them?

I am a Souray fan and I wish there were a way that this could work out in a positive way, but nobody seems to be of the opinion that this can happen. Too bad... Souray is the type of player our blue line needs.

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#6 I'm a Scientist!
August 05 2010, 03:28PM
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Wasn't putting him on waivers enough of a symbolic slap on the wrist? I would rather have him in the majors talking smack where other vets can argue and debate the merits of his smack, then in the minors where the young people have no choice but to believe his tales as nobody is there to refrute his rants.

Let him play. I feel like he will have something to prove after being put on waivers and not having any teams interested in him.

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#7 Barry Trotz' Neck
August 05 2010, 04:09PM
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Souray will be back. I havea feeling he knows how low his value is.

I predict Souray to play top 4 minutes all season long. If the Oilers start winning games and having fun he will stick around. I call B.S on the management stuff. Shelly wants to win. His career is winding down as posters here have said.

A healthy and happy Souray is WHAT this team needs.

Whitney-Gilbert Souray-Smid Foster-Vandermeer

That to me folks is a solid top 4 corps.

PP #1 Whitney and Souray PP #2 Gilbert and Foster.

Both units have a puck mover and a guy with absolute bombs!

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#8 Raidernorth
August 05 2010, 04:28PM
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No way he can be part of the "rebuild". He will poision(= a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health) the kids as soon as he gets ticked at one of the coaches! Oilers need to move on without another mention of Sheldon. Put him in Stockton until a team needs him for the playoff run next spring!! Good riddance!

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#9 madjam
August 05 2010, 07:24PM
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Now that you have all laid the blame on Souray , how about the people that led to Souray wanting out ? He, like Moreau and many others, are the victims here . They did not want out by choice originally . Management lack of forsight and damage , etc. control certainly played a major part in players wanting to leave here . I don't see any reason to try and lay all the blame on the players for managements lack of asset control .

Management let the team down, and the players . Let them take their fair share/accountability of the blame here . The onus is on management to make first strides towards accommodation here .

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#10 Dodd
August 06 2010, 08:33AM
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"If I could go back and do it again, I would have sat Chris Pronger".

- Kevin Lowe fom the TSN documentary Oil Change

It's obvious that Souray was part of the mysterious "locker room problems" that plagued us last year. I think it's in our best interest publicly and rookie - wise to let Souray work out on his own this year, and catch up on his soaps. I deeply respected the Senators when they sat Yashin. They still traded him and got Chara and a pick that became Spezza.

We have $11Mill in cap space with Souray's pay on the books. Sitting Souray won't cripple us.

I realize Souray is no Yashin, but I think there's alot of honor in sitting a problem player. Last time we gave in to 44's demands we didn't get much.

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#11 vishcosity
August 06 2010, 08:55AM
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If Souray was trying to be the whistle blower for an organization that he cheered for as a boy, do people mostly think he should be shot for his attempts? Is there legislation in Canada which protects that sort of thing?

Maybe he was trying to do something to help shake it up, to ease the coming changes somehow; remember these dudes rarely graduate from high school let alone have working knowledge of savvy socio-political methodology. Oilers have demonstrated a pretty locked down ship, maybe he was really trying to do something legit.

Is it possible his intentions were reasonable despite being imperfect in method? Can we herald a guy brave enough to take on this OBC? Should we ever side with the corporation when it comes to whistle blowing anyway?

As for me, I will cheer if he comes back.

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#12 Cowbell_Feva
August 06 2010, 09:43AM
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Mark wrote:

Just buy him out! Expensive? Yes! But this would be better than having him poison the room in Edmonton or Oklahoma. Bite the bullet; we are finally starting to build a franchise that free agents will take less money to come to in a few years in search of Lord Stanley’s cup (like Detroit and Chicago). Don’t blow it to get a bag of pucks for him!

IF, Edmonton is going to make an expensive buy-out it should be for Horcoff, not Souray.

Souray has been publicly humiliated by being put on waivers, and to top it off, nobody took the bait. Surely he's realized he's not as coveted as he probably thought when he made those comments.

Having Souray/Whitney and Foster/Gilbert (move the 4 around to your preference) as your PP pointmen wouldn't bother me. That and Shelly has some nastiness to his game.

I say play him and hope he blows a few holes in the net to bring up the trade value, then either trade him, or if Cinderella decides to tell a story, keep him and have him end Kipprusoff's career with a hellacious slapper.

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#13 David S
August 06 2010, 09:57AM
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DeeDee wrote:

The way I understand it, after the end of the PREVIOUS season, Souray met privately with management and requested a trade.

This came after a very good season and his value was at its highest.

The guy snapped after a crappy season and after spending a year trying to leave the organization he shot his mouth off. If all he cared about was the money he could just show up at the rink every day and collect his cheques.

The Oilers had a long time to do something about the situation, and have to share some of the blame.

One of the reasons Souray was brought here was to try to encourage other high profile UFA's to come to Edmonton and that experiment failed miserably.

There doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground with Edmonton fans. The switch gets toggled from love to hate pretty quickly. Management is not always 100% correct in every siuation, and the players are not always 100% wrong.

The Oilers have two choices, buy out Souray or let him come back and play.

They are well under the cap and have an owner that can afford the buyout. If they consider him poison to the room then remove him.

I feel Souray can still come back. He didn't dump on the fans, or fellow players, he dumped on Management.

Press conference, apology, move on with the future.

Sticking him in the minors does nothing other than being vindictive. It certainly won't be a shining beacon of an example to try to attract more players to our town.

Ahhh!!! The cool, refreshing breeze of sanity.

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#14 Jerk Store
August 06 2010, 12:31PM
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While the last few comments are rationale and well-thought out, I have to disagree. I believe you are naïve to think that Sourays reasoning for his rant ... Sorry ... "Mission statement" were altruistic. His goal was not to speak up to turnaround a team he loved as a boy. That is a Hallmark special not reality. His motive was to look after his own interests and it backfired mightily. If you want to idolize the guy fine. But to me he is either a moron for saying what he did / when he did or he took some bad advice. I will not defend some of the signings that K lowe / tambellini made. But to say that Souray was motivated by anything but his own agenda - you are sadly misguided.

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#15 9 Inches Uncut
August 05 2010, 02:55PM
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Or, is it better in the long run for Katz to pay the price of a steep AHL ticket and get Souray the hell out and away from the kids during what's obviously a critical period of transition for the team?

Being in the AHL sort of insures he's hanging with the kids doesn't it?

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#16 captainnapalm
August 05 2010, 03:02PM
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As with the Khabibulin situation if he happens to start training camp in prison, is there a way that if Souray doesn't show up for training camp that the Oilers can opt out of the contract?

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#17 captainnapalm
August 05 2010, 03:04PM
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I also have to question whether or not Souray would be any better around the kids in the AHL than he would be towards the kids in the NHL.

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#18 smiliegirl15
August 05 2010, 03:05PM
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tender ears and impressionable minds?

Don't those exist in the minors too? either way it seems to be a lose/lose proposition.

I think Souray needs to kiss and make up for the good of all involved, most pressingly, himself if he thinks another team is going to want to touch him with a ten foot hockey stick.

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#19 VMR
August 05 2010, 03:11PM
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@captainnapalm

Yeah if he doesnt show up the Oilers can waive him and if no other team grabs him they can void the contract but like Robin said why would Souray give up that sweet contract he signed?

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#20 DonDon
August 05 2010, 03:22PM
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Both the Oilers organization and Souray are left with what could be described as a Hobson's Choice. A terrible situation to be in.

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#21 Ender
August 05 2010, 03:26PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

And, while it might suck to be staying in AHL hotels and enduring AHL travel instead of going first-class in the NHL, Souray isn't going to turn his back on that stack of cake and refuse to report.

Robin, last month I posted an interesting explanation I found of how the Oilers might be able to terminate Souray's contract without buying him out, using the same loophole the Wild used with Petr Sykora.

This only works, obviously, if both sides agree to it and several people in the know have indicated that Souray wouldn't go for it. They insist he'd play in the minors if he had to and take his $9M. I remain unconvinced. If Souray knew it was for only a short period of time, maybe he'd report, I agree. But what if the Oilers made it abundantly clear that he wasn't going to the farm for a few months? What if they made it perfectly clear that even if every last blueliner in the Edmonton system ate bad chicken at the same time that we would still be calling on the Golden Bears for a one-nighter before we'd be dressing him in an Oilers sweater?

As I wrote last month, if Souray really wants his $9M then there's nothing the Oil can do; they would have to pay him. If Katz and Lowe are willing to grit their teeth though, Souray's stint in the minors might be the last contract he ever sees. Souray knows that in two years when he finishes his potential OKC sentence, he'd be 36 years old. With no NHL games in that time, Father Time catching up, and an injury-plagued past, how many teams would roll the dice? Souray would make his $9M now at the expense of his pride and any future earnings down the road. I think he might be happier to become a UFA now and play the next 5+ years in the Bigs at market price; maybe $3M or so per year.

Robin, do you really think a guy like Souray is going to be content to spend the next two years taking hits from AHL goons while pursuing the Calder Cup? I just don't see him as that kind of guy. $9M is a chunk-of-change, no doubt, but that's no way to end your NHL career.

What if he played one year down there for $4.5M, just to see if the Oilers were bluffing? If he didn't get on board with the divorce this summer, I bet he'd be scrambling to find a pen this time next year.

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#22 Mark
August 05 2010, 03:38PM
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Just buy him out! Expensive? Yes! But this would be better than having him poison the room in Edmonton or Oklahoma. Bite the bullet; we are finally starting to build a franchise that free agents will take less money to come to in a few years in search of Lord Stanley’s cup (like Detroit and Chicago). Don’t blow it to get a bag of pucks for him!

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#23 Ender
August 05 2010, 03:41PM
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@smiliegirl15

Regarding 'tender ears and impressionable minds', I think there's a big difference to players between the Organization saying "We don't like this guy, but we're going to give him top minutes in the Show because he's left us with no other choice" versus saying "Take a good look; if you screw us like this guy did, this will happen to you too."

If Souray comes back to Edmonton, he'd be doing so as 'one of the guys'. If he goes to OKC, I think it would be a bit more as a social pariah. He wouldn't be shunned or anything, but I can't see anyone in a hurry to become his best friend down there either.

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#24 @NateInVegas
August 05 2010, 03:41PM
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Use the Mike Shanahan V Haynesworth playbook, take the fitness test...

Sorry Sheldon keep working we'll fit you in eventually..

Sami Salo thinks Sheldon Souray is a bandaid and his value will neither increase nor decrease by sitting him.

Have him flip under cooked Rexall burgers or something.

Would Shelly report if designer clothes were prohibited per Oilers policy?

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#25 Racki
August 05 2010, 03:43PM
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9 Inches Uncut wrote:

Or, is it better in the long run for Katz to pay the price of a steep AHL ticket and get Souray the hell out and away from the kids during what's obviously a critical period of transition for the team?

Being in the AHL sort of insures he's hanging with the kids doesn't it?

Yep. At least some of them.. not so sure that helps any better. ~Maybe we send him to the ECHL.~ :P

I'm thinking we'll have to find some team in dire need of unloading an equally bad disaster.

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#26 Mike Krushelnyski
August 05 2010, 03:44PM
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Is it unreasonable to expect that Souray will behave himself long enough to pique some other team's interest? I think it's in Souray's best interest to shut up, keep his head down, stay healthy and wait for some other team's PP specialist to go down injured. Funny how a solid 40 games and injury problems can change a guy's trade value.

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#27 Curious
August 05 2010, 03:45PM
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The next CBA should have non guaranteed contracts. The players would never go for it, but man it would solve a bunch of isues regarding player performance.

On second thought I guess then the owners just go and sign guys for insane amounts of money on long term deals to get the cap hit down and then cut them when they are over their prime or the cap number doesnt work with the team anymore. Makes being a GM a whole lot easier if you just cut whoever you want.

Maybe there needs to be a clause about a if a team and a player both want to opt out of a deal, then it is allowed somehow.

I dont know it just seem silly to have a decent but unhappy player having to play in the minors for the length of a contract.

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#28 Kevin
August 05 2010, 03:46PM
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The only thing more ridiculous than the Calgary sweaters is the way the NHL introduced the stolen "Heritage Classic". Nothing against Staois, but were Iginla & Kipper busy? No stars at all. In the other winter classic, wasn't Sidney Crosby the posterboy? What a joke!

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#29 Ender
August 05 2010, 03:46PM
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bookie wrote:

I think it depends. 1. Could Souray actually be happy here (with the changes in dressing room staff, trainers, coaches, players, etc.)? 2. Is Souray one of the 'problem guys' in the room in any way? If the answers are yes and no in that order, then his playing would be fine. If the answers are no and yes, then it would be better to pay him to sit on a beach somewhere. As much as Souray vented about management, many of his frustrations may have been with the people and processes that the team had in place.

Do you remember what Souray actually said to the Press?

“It’s not a players thing, it’s not a fans thing or a city thing. It’s a management thing. They’ve given up on me, and it’s a two-way street.” “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.”

Great thundering nipsywhizzies; if he said that in public, what did he yell at Tambi in K-Lowe's office?

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#30 Maverick
August 05 2010, 03:47PM
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I would think Calgary would have to have some sort of history to be able to participate in a heritage classic.

I guess heritage doesn't really matter.

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#31 Mitch
August 05 2010, 03:50PM
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Robin could they send him over to Europe if they had to, then would his contract count against the cap?

If the owners want to fight for anything in the next C.B.A, they should try to get rid of gauranteed contracts and do away with the salary cap. I like the competitiveness on the ice, but it is just garbage when there's no player movement because of contract status with most players. In most cases with any job if we are not pulling are wieght we find the unemployment line or in Sheldon's case if he doesn't want to be in Edmonton fine cut him, go find someone else to pay him what he deserves.

For both sides it's a mutual agreement they don't like each other anymore, maybe they could write in the contracts outclauses for both parties then Sheldon could go find a new team, would he still be worth 4m plus?

As a fan it's fustrating to see a player in lymbo because the GM can't get the cap to work, it's a gaurntee there will be another work stoppage when the current C.B.A. expires.

Player's in my estimation don't need gauranteed contracts, they are paid very handsomley. The contract's given to 98% of the players are killing this sport.

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#32 Souby
August 05 2010, 03:52PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

tender ears and impressionable minds?

Don't those exist in the minors too? either way it seems to be a lose/lose proposition.

I think Souray needs to kiss and make up for the good of all involved, most pressingly, himself if he thinks another team is going to want to touch him with a ten foot hockey stick.

I couldn't agree more. You would hope that Souray would be smart enough to realize that his attitude and remarks have directly contributed to his non-existent trade value.

Souray and the Oilers need to mend this fence just long enough to get someone, anyone, interested.

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#33 smiliegirl15
August 05 2010, 03:52PM
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@Ender

Good point Ender. On the other hand, social pariah or no, he may cause trouble being the grumpy old man on the bench because "no one sees his true value~"!

The only way the Oilers could get out of paying him in the Sykora scenario is if he refuses to report to OKC. Wait and see???

I still like Souray as a player; when he wasn't injured, he was a pretty great guy to have on the team.

My question is this - if he reports to training camp, does he have to clear re-entry waivers too? How many teams may be willing to bite at half price?

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#34 Curious
August 05 2010, 03:58PM
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@Mitch

Getting rid of the salary cap will never happen - they lost an entire year to get that in place. How does not having a cap lower player salaries and increase the viability of the league?

I agree with the guaranteed contracts though but like I said before, there are loopholes around that as well that would need to be thought through.

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#35 Crash
August 05 2010, 04:00PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

Good point Ender. On the other hand, social pariah or no, he may cause trouble being the grumpy old man on the bench because "no one sees his true value~"!

The only way the Oilers could get out of paying him in the Sykora scenario is if he refuses to report to OKC. Wait and see???

I still like Souray as a player; when he wasn't injured, he was a pretty great guy to have on the team.

My question is this - if he reports to training camp, does he have to clear re-entry waivers too? How many teams may be willing to bite at half price?

He doesn't have to clear re-entry waivers until he is sent down which hasn't happened.

He is still part of the big club but can now be sent down at any time.

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#36 Ender
August 05 2010, 04:02PM
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@smiliegirl15

No re-entry waivers. He was never actually assigned to the minors, since there were no minors to assign him to in the off-season.

Edit: I see Crash beat me to the explanation.

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#37 Crash
August 05 2010, 04:02PM
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VMR wrote:

Yeah if he doesnt show up the Oilers can waive him and if no other team grabs him they can void the contract but like Robin said why would Souray give up that sweet contract he signed?

He's already been waived so if you're correct then they can void his contract if he doesn't show up at camp. Unless of course the Oilers instruct him not to show up.

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#38 Big Dave Semenko
August 05 2010, 04:04PM
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Racki wrote:

Yep. At least some of them.. not so sure that helps any better. ~Maybe we send him to the ECHL.~ :P

I'm thinking we'll have to find some team in dire need of unloading an equally bad disaster.

Sending him to Stockton would benefit him as he would be closer to his kids...

I suspect that Sheldon will have a "hat-in-hand" presser and say that he was speaking out of frustration at the end of last season and he genuinely is looking forward to being a positive part of the rebuild here going forward. Renney, along with Tambellini will be there, and Horcoff, Whitney or whoever the C or associate C's are would be in attendance to shake his hand and slap him on the back, showing the ticket buying public that his apology was well received. Come February, if still healthy, he gets moved to a contender for a draft pick and a prospect minor leaguer.

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#39 Souby
August 05 2010, 04:07PM
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Because of the salary cap there is so little in the way of trades these days. So I figured why not throw out an off the wall idea, sit back, and get torn to shreds by everyone at Oilersnation. Here goes:

To Washington: Cogs (approx 2010 cap-hit 1.2Mil) & Souray (5.4Mil cap hit) = Approx 6.6Mil total cap-hit.

To Edmonton: David Steckel (1.1Mil cap-hit), Jason Chimera (1.875Mil cap-hit) and Michael Nylander (4.875Mil cap-hit) = 7.85Mil total cap-hit.

I know it sounds crazy to even think about adding Nylander’s name to the conversation, but hear me out. Sure he shunned the Oil before, and he will never wear Oiler silks and he comes with a high price tag. The positive side of this deal is he only has 1 year left on the contract and we would get a solid 3rd line center that is big and wins face-offs. We would also get a 3rd/4th line winger who is a veteran, knows the city, can kill penalties and is a great skater. Lastly, we would not have Souray’s 5.4Mil cap-hit to deal with next year.

Any thoughts folks?

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#40 Ducey
August 05 2010, 04:08PM
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I expect Tambo has a Plan B deal in his back pocket wherein he takes on someone else's expensive misfit.

He is likely waiting until the Kovy arbitration gets settled as that is impacting decisions in a few places (NJ and LA among others).

If nothing else is available I expect that he will have Souray report to camp, see if he has improved his attitude and if not go to plan B. This is likely why he has not added another vet forward people are clamouring for.

Ideally, Souray would come in with a good attitude & work hard with the goal of putting up some nice stats so he can get traded at the deadline.

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#41 Ender
August 05 2010, 04:09PM
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Crash wrote:

He's already been waived so if you're correct then they can void his contract if he doesn't show up at camp. Unless of course the Oilers instruct him not to show up.

It takes two to void the contract. If the Oil tell him not to show up, Souray still gets paid.

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#42 Mitch
August 05 2010, 04:11PM
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Curious wrote:

Getting rid of the salary cap will never happen - they lost an entire year to get that in place. How does not having a cap lower player salaries and increase the viability of the league?

I agree with the guaranteed contracts though but like I said before, there are loopholes around that as well that would need to be thought through.

I don`t really know that it would lower the salaries, but would Horcoff be making 5m a yr or is he a 3.5 to maybe a 3m a yr player. The owners are crazy, is the leauge revenue up that much over the last 5 yrs that the salary cap is up roughly 20m a yr per team. Or is the leauge built on the back of hard working Canadian people. I just feel that if a player is not meeting expectations why is he worth 5m a season if his output only suggests 3m a yr. Should the boss not be free to walk away. How bout the aging goaltender with the screwed up back.

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#43 ubermiguel
August 05 2010, 04:12PM
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@Souby

Was Nylander even playing in the NHL last year?

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#44 Souby
August 05 2010, 04:13PM
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@ubermiguel

No, but according to capgeek.com, he is still on Washington's books.

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#45 Ender
August 05 2010, 04:14PM
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Souby wrote:

To Washington: Cogs (approx 2010 cap-hit 1.2Mil) & Souray (5.4Mil cap hit) = Approx 6.6Mil total cap-hit.

To Edmonton: David Steckel (1.1Mil cap-hit), Jason Chimera (1.875Mil cap-hit) and Michael Nylander (4.875Mil cap-hit) = 7.85Mil total cap-hit.

Edit: While Nylander didn't play last year and likely won't again this year, he gets another $3M from the Caps this year anyway.

While I don't think Washington would move Steckel, it's maybe not quite as crazy an idea as I first imagined. Overall, though, I think the Caps would rather just eat the final $3M of Nylander's contract and put the whole thing behind them.

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#46 ubermiguel
August 05 2010, 04:20PM
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They need to allow more performance based bonuses with lower base salaries. Imagine Souray with $3 mill base and a scaled Games Played bonus?

Or imagine everyone on the team with a "Games Won" bonus. No more taking a night off if that win is worth $$$ to you. Each player would start holding the other guys in the locker room accountable for their performance.

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#47 Souby
August 05 2010, 04:27PM
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@Ender

I did say it was on off the wall idea. I doubt the Caps would even consider my proposal, but if Mike Milbury were still GM for the Isles, I bet he would do it! I guess that is why he is a commentator and not a GM anymore.

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#48 Crooked
August 05 2010, 04:33PM
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There's really no good way to deal with Souray.

If you bring him to camp and have him start the year in Edmonton you run the risk of him becoming a negative influence and a distraction on and off the ice.

If you put him down in OKC you run the risk of him becoming a negative influence and distraction on and off the ice.

If you force him to sit out, you're paying him $4.5m (with a cap hit of $5.4m) to do nothing and he becomes a distraction off the ice.

Probably the best way to deal with Souray would be to agree to continue pursuing trade opportunities as long as he agrees to keep his nose clean and not be a distraction on or off the ice. At the first sign of trouble he gets demoted. Once a big contract gets buried in the minors, they're done.

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#49 Ausenik
August 05 2010, 04:41PM
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After the Oilers traded POS for Vandermere, I saw something out of the Oilers management I haven't seen in awhile...creativity...so in the mould of creativity, I have thought out this trade. Please tell me if I have gone completely insane.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are a team that has been vocal about the fact that they need to add a defenseman to quarterback their powerplay...and as a franchise I think the pressure is on them to win and get back into the playoffs this season.

How about this trade:

Cogliano (RFA, let's say 1.2mil) for Commodore (3.75mil) + John Moore

Clearly, the Oilers win this trade, so why would CBJ do it? What if as part of the deal the Oilers agreed to bring Souray back in on re-entry waivers...Toronto would not claim him given their cap situation and defensive depth...Florida would more than likely not take him either...That would leave Columbus to take him at half the price, and half of the salary hit to the Oilers. So that would REALLY make the trade

Cogliano (1.2) + Souray (2.7) for Commodore (3.75) + Moore

I have heard a lot of varying opinions on how good of a prospect Moore is...so some might think this is too slanted for the Oilers, some might think it is too slanted for CBJ. Regardless, the money lines up and I think it makes Columbus a much better team this season (Cogs has been a CBJ killer, so they know what he can be)...And for the Oilers, it gives them another defense prospect in the system, and Souray is gone (wooo!) and replaced with another defenseman who could play Top 4 minutes. The Oilers have the room to eat that extra 2.7mil of Souray's cap hit, so why not do it in order to get something good for him?

Is that kind of an agreement even allowed under the CBA rules?

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#50 Ender
August 05 2010, 04:42PM
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Crooked wrote:

Probably the best way to deal with Souray would be to agree to continue pursuing trade opportunities as long as he agrees to keep his nose clean and not be a distraction on or off the ice. At the first sign of trouble he gets demoted.

I partially agree with you, with the major difference being that I would assign him to the minors immediately with the understanding that if he wasn't a model citizen to every one of the kids down there, he'd have played his last game of professional ice hockey. I'd keep working on an unlikely trade based on his AHL performance, but I'd also go into things knowing he'd never be recalled to the Oilers. He causes trouble, he goes home and sits. No more opportunities to show his stuff. Done.

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