Steve Tambellini (Correctly) Bars Souray From Camp

Jonathan Willis
September 13 2010 11:56PM

MONTREAL - JANUARY 25:  Sheldon Souray of the Edmonton Oilers arrives at the Versus 2009 NHL All-Star party at Club Opera on January 25, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Sheldon Souray will not be attending training camp with the Edmonton Oilers. And it will be because the management of the team has decided they don’t want him to.

As always seems to be the case with the Oilers, the details of communication between management and player are a little sketchy, with the Oilers claiming they told Souray a week ago he wasn’t welcome, and Souray claiming he found out earlier today. I’m not sure which is correct; on the one hand is the Oilers’ slipshod record, while on the other hand is Souray’s more conciliatory public tone prior to the announcement that he wouldn’t be coming back.

I’m of the opinion that the truth here is important, but that there’s very little way to know what it is, so the issue of who said what when can be tabled for the time being.

In any case, I find myself in agreement with the Oilers here, despite my previous suggestion that Steve Tambellini should swallow his pride and take Souray back. My point of view changed back in late August, when Souray let it be known “that the team has made no effort to smooth things over with him.” Sportsnet published that little tidbit, but Souray wasn’t making any secret about his stance.

That grumbling was what convinced me that Souray had little interest in reconciliation; that the only way to bring him back would require a humiliatingly one-sided effort by Steve Tambellini. That’s not an acceptable sacrifice for any manager, not so much because I care if Tambellini needs to grovel a little for the good of the team but because the image of the general manager brought to his knees by any player would set an unacceptable precedent for an organization that has already shown far too much willingness to bend for the player of the week.

I still don’t think this situation falls entirely on Souray, and I’m still no supporter of Steve Tambellini, but I’m not going to beat up on him for making the right decision here.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Net Year Country
September 14 2010, 06:21AM
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I fully support Tambellini in this move. Now Souray wants to come to camp and be a professional. Right! Well, he should have been a professional all a long, considering what this organization (and we fans who pay the shot) have paid him over the past three years. His comments are as self-serving as most of what he says. If he hadn't had his self-indulgent temper tantrum, it would have been much easier to deal him. Tambellini didn't announce this sooner because he kept trying to do a deal.

I like the new attitude management has. If you don't want to be here, we don't want you here. That is certainly my attitude as a fan.

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#2 jake
September 14 2010, 10:24AM
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Souray exploits the Pronger anti-Edmonton situation wrt free agents, gets his big payday and gets to move west closer to his children in 2007, with no intention of stayiing IMO.

Asks for a trade after year 2 ( after a real good year for him...hmmm.)

Plays like garbage after concussion (not all concussion related IMO).

Breaks hand in a stupid fight approaching trade deadline, can't get traded as a result, gets pissed off because now HE NO LONGER HAS CONTROL OVER WHERE HE PLAYS NEXT. Spouts off publicly, declares war on management, both sides dig in heels and here we are.

Just my thoughts. Good riddance 44.

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#3 Dodd
September 14 2010, 11:10AM
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Velo wrote:

Perhaps Souray did the fans and the organization a big favor by calling out the crappy communication between suits and jerseys. He had no beef with the city and no beef with teammates. Now all of a sudden all the rookies are getting the rock-star treatment. I realize Souray was pissed, and a bit selfish, but his comments were not about him wanting more, or out, for that matter. He, and all the players, are multi-million dollar assets and they need to be treated fairly and respectfully. The new players will reap the benefits of his rant, and, hopefully, management will learn how to manage its' assets...especially given the assets they have. There is a long list of players with "concerns" regarding their departure from E-town, and I for one and happy someone blew the whistle on this sort of crap. Let's hope the new Oilers are treated with professionalism and that Souray is able to find a new team and, in some twist of fate, runs Iggy and makes the universe right.

Just my $0.02

How many of these incidents have happened where the player hashed it out with management in private and they managed to ship him out of town effectively for both sides?

Answer: We'll never know because the parties involved were professional enough to keep it in private.

Part of being a "multi-million dollar asset" is this level of professionalism. It doesn't sound like guys like Pisani or Comrie or Moreau had anything bad to say when they left.

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#4 Blue Blooded
September 14 2010, 11:51AM
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To all of you arguing that the OIlers should play Souray to start the year, hear this: Apart from playing well to gain the interest of another teams, what would be most important for Souray??? Any guesses? ... Well my "guess" would be not getting injured. What does this tell us about his potential for this season? We'd see a lot of Souray not going hard to the corners where he can get hit, or not skating hard for pucks behind the net. We'd see shabby defense on his part. I also doubt he'd fully be protecting his teammates... dumb@ss already busted his wrist trying to get revenge on Iggy last year. If you're one of the rookies, how would you feel watching a guy only looking after his own butt while you're trying to win games. And that's just on the ice, nevermind what the &*%* would be happening in the dressing room and away from the rink. Nope, not on our team. Screw you Souray, I'd love to see you traded, and if not, you can play as any team at home on NHL 11.

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#5 TheFadedLine
September 13 2010, 11:58PM
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Good move.

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#7 Muji 狗
September 14 2010, 12:05AM
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FIST to say FIST!

I stand by Tambellini's decision also... ...but he bumbled this AGAIN. He had all summer to tell Souray to f*ck off. Why wait until the last minute and why try to relay it through his agent... and then try to relay it through frigging email.

It might very well be the case that Souray is lying. Or his agent had a great weekend and forgot to "forward" the email. But why did Tambellini cut it so close? This is a distraction.

It's funny because Souray's original complaints were that the channels of communication were broken. Say what you want about Sheldon, but this latest incident further supports that.

PS: Again, I'm happy that the GM is finally taking a stand and making a whiner SIT. Just not a fan of the method.

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#9 Hockeyjedi
September 14 2010, 12:23AM
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Am I seriously the only one who thinks a healthy, happy and attitude-adjusted Souray is exactly what the Oilers need? They are lacking experience, physicality and leadership. Souray brings all 3 elements. Before you rip me for blasphemy, consider this: Souray has always been known as a stand-up guy who puts his team first. With all that has transpired since his arrival in Edmonton, is it really that odd that he expressed his frustrations this Spring? The team has been a mess from top to bottom and Souray has had some ridiculously bad luck injury-wise. In fact, if you read his comments from earlier today, he indicated that his time on the IR was a big contributing factor to his discontent. Ever make a mistake and wish you could have a mulligan? I certainly have. Perhaps Souray realizes the error of his ways and really does, as he stated, want to be part of the future here. Many people have openly talked of Ethan Moreau's less than stellar leadership and we all know that Souray and Moreau are good friends. Again, however, have you ever been led astray by a friend? I may be reaching a bit here, but after hearing what Souray said today, I find it a bit strange that he's been banned from camp. Many posters on the Nation have questioned Oilers management. Is it out of the question that said management could offer a player who was critical of it a clean slate? I'm just sayin'...

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#10 Feynman
September 14 2010, 12:24AM
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In my gut I feel this was not a good move but it's impossible to know what has been going on behind the scenes. I never have liked Souray's persona. He's always seemed like a pretty boy who has to always get his way or else. I do like the fact that Tambo is doing things his way.....just hope it's not an ego thing.

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#12 Hockeyjedi
September 14 2010, 12:48AM
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@ Jonathan Willis

As Feynman said, it's impossible to know what goes on behind the scenes. With that said, how do we know that Souray hasn't made a private effort to mend fences? I'm not saying he has, I'm just saying that we don't really know anything for sure. When Sportsnet informed us of Souray's comments regarding the team's lack of communication with him, maybe he had been the first to reach out and received nothing but cold silence. If so, how else should he respond to the question? I know I'm coming off as a huge Souray booster but I just truly feel that, if there is genuine contrition on Big Sexy's part (which, again, we don't know for sure) then wouldn't you think they would at least let him come to camp and see how the pulse of the room is affected? Regardless of how this all plays out, regardless of your personal opinion of Souray, I completely agree that Tambellini has bungled this latest chapter in the ongoing Saga of Sheldon.

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#13 Muji 狗
September 14 2010, 12:59AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

And here's David Staples' take.

Good angle IMO.

We won't really know the personal feud, if any, between the 2 parties. Let's just hope it's not another case of a personal vendetta getting in the way of proper business; Mike Comrie - Correy Perry trade anyone?

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#14 Jamie B.
September 14 2010, 01:00AM
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Some of the Oilers have been skating in Perry Pearn's camp for the last three weeks. I'm not calling Souray a liar but I also don't think it's mere coinicidence that he shows up to join them all buddy buddy right before the story breaks that the Oilers have asked him not to come to camp. I'd also like to know who called the media when 90% of them are in Penticton right now. Tambellini's mistake was (as always) keeping everything private and not announcing that Souray wouldn't be at camp before Souray could go out and try to make himself look like the good guy.

The Oilers have evidently decided that lowering (or at least not raising) Souray's non-existant trade value was less harmful to the team overall than the damage he could do by being around, even if it's only as a distraction. I kind of think that says an awful lot about just how bad things must have gotten in the dressing room for Souray last year.

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#15 Hockeyjedi
September 14 2010, 01:21AM
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Muji 狗 wrote:

Good angle IMO.

We won't really know the personal feud, if any, between the 2 parties. Let's just hope it's not another case of a personal vendetta getting in the way of proper business; Mike Comrie - Correy Perry trade anyone?

I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe that's why Kevin Lowe recently talked about the need for thick skin on management's part. He's seen this movie before (The Comrie Calamity) and has learned from it. Then again, maybe Souray has really burned the bridge beyond repair. I hope not, because I really believe he's capable of being a strong asset to the team. Side note: Bring him back, trade him or make him sit. Do NOT send him to Oklahoma City. If you really believe he's a negative influence in the room, do you really want him on the farm with all your impressionable prospects? Methinks not.

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#16 Maggie the Monkey
September 14 2010, 01:39AM
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Meanwhile, from over at the new blog at The Score (Houses of the Hockey), comes this:

"Of course, with six defenders pulling down in excess $3 million per year [in Vancouver], the organization is going to have to make some decisions prior to puck drop. Vancouver is one of the only teams still hovering a couple of million above the salary cap ceiling and the most obvious area to cut the fat is the back-end. Kevin Bieksa and his $3.75 million cap hit has been rumored to be prime trade bait, although there doesn’t appear to be a lot of demand for his services with time rapidly running out. If he can’t be moved by the start of the season, there’s a chance he’ll be placed on waivers and shipped to the farm in order to make the roster cap compliant."

With Souray definitely out of the blue line mix and a severe shortage of minute-eating NHL defensemen on the Oilers' roster, might Bieksa make sense if he's available as a waiver pick up? With only two years left on his contract, I hope Tambellini gives it serious thought.

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#17 cameron
September 14 2010, 02:29AM
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i really genuinely think that they told him not to come to camp a while age and in retort with feelings hurt and an axe to grind he went out and told the media this for the sake of making the team brass look even worse. Think about it. He was pissed all year last year and had plenty of ears to listen to him whine...(moreau) and when the final straw was thrown he didn't like how it fell.So like the big boy he was he threw a tantrun and threw the match on the oilers tinder like reputation.

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#18 Woogie
September 14 2010, 04:26AM
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This sets a precedence for other players as well in the near future. Don 't go and pull a Souray or we will screw you!

I think this shows great foresight on Tambi's part.

option 1) Send him down and recall him on re-entry waivers (we are responsible for half his cap hit for the next 2 years)

option 2) have him seat for the 2 years of his contract. We aren't going to be competitive under after his contract is up anyways.

option 3 trade him (best case scenario however can't seem to happen)

We have cap space... let him seat

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#19 a lg dubl dubl
September 14 2010, 05:37AM
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I said this in lowtides blog Steve should make Khabibulin sit too for his DUI at least until after his appeal to the courts in arizona is done with. Id back Tamby more for his decision on Souray (telling him not to report for camp) if he does the same to NK, right now it looks as if Steve is saying to the rest of the team "the oilers dont care if u drink and drive just dont talk bad about me i dont like that". Ive talked bad about a boss or two over the years and gratefully got a chance to make amends to bad ST dosnt feel the same. My point is they should both sit til Sheldon gets "his wish" to move on and Khabby should sit til the Oilers know what his actual sentence should be.

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#20 Archie
September 14 2010, 05:47AM
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Everyone seems to forget that Souray has pass through waivers and can be sent anywhere the Oilers want to send him. We all know that there is some teams want him, but are most likely offering high priced crap in return. The Oilers don't need other teams problems. Now the Oilers have force the issue, if you want Souray you best trade for him now before he gets stuck in the minors. Once stuck in the minors Souray would have to go through re-entry waivers and any team could pick him up for half his salary and no team would be willing to take the chance to trade for Souray and lose him once he goes through re-entry waivers and still be responsible for half his salary. Personally I think its a brilliant move by Tambo, now he's dealing from a position of strength and not weakness.

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#21 RossCreekNation
September 14 2010, 06:32AM
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Muji 狗 wrote:

FIST to say FIST!

I stand by Tambellini's decision also... ...but he bumbled this AGAIN. He had all summer to tell Souray to f*ck off. Why wait until the last minute and why try to relay it through his agent... and then try to relay it through frigging email.

It might very well be the case that Souray is lying. Or his agent had a great weekend and forgot to "forward" the email. But why did Tambellini cut it so close? This is a distraction.

It's funny because Souray's original complaints were that the channels of communication were broken. Say what you want about Sheldon, but this latest incident further supports that.

PS: Again, I'm happy that the GM is finally taking a stand and making a whiner SIT. Just not a fan of the method.

They didn't tell him to F off earlier because they were probably optimistic that they could trade him before camp. Why further devalue him a month ago when your still trying to trade him? Doesn't make any sense. Now that they're down to their last days before camp, they let him know.

How many people would have carved Tambellini if he took this stance a month ago. Answer... LOTS!

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#22 Darrenski
September 14 2010, 06:38AM
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Good move Tambi! Since the actual camp does not start until Friday, I believe ST has given Souray enough notice not to come to camp. Souray is a liability since he bashed the Organization and all ST has been trying to do is move him, which is what Souray requested through the media. If they were to have kissed and made up I believe it would have been up to Souray to try to mend the fence, as he was the one who was most unprofessional and went to the media. In most other jobs he would have been fired immediately, but since the CBA protects him, the Oil are stuck. Send him overseas to let him think a year and develop some professionalism as it is not present. Souray could not even look at the interviewer on Monday, looked like he had it written on his wrist what he was going to say. He is anything but professional!

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#23 The Real Scuba Steve
September 14 2010, 06:53AM
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I say let him sit, it is not like that we are going to do anything this year any how. Should of done the same thing with Pronger.

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#24 russ99
September 14 2010, 07:03AM
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Seems obvious bridges are burned beyond repair here, so I wonder if Souray's public show yesterday was not for the benefit of the Oilers but for other teams to have some glimmer if interest in him again.

Seems to have worked in some of our fans, but we'll see if it worked for any other GMs.

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#25 Crackenbury
September 14 2010, 07:18AM
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I was getting nauseated reading the previous thread with so many people supporting Souray and bashing ST. I like JW's and David Staples breakdown of the situation. Also, what's with all the talk about the Oilers lying about camp? ST said he may (as in might) be in camp a couple of weeks ago. That's not the same as saying he will be. Additionaly it was reported that Souray was told last Friday he wouldn't be allowed at camp. It was Souray's agent who requested it in writing, which he received the following Monday. Souray used the interim as a publicity show. As for why the delay? How about why the rush? He was told, putting it in writing is just meeting an agents request, no rush to do that.

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#26 Lofty
September 14 2010, 07:31AM
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IMO I think Tambo has a deal in place to move him that is all but a done deal.

My logic is; why would you totaly rule Souray returning to the Oil or at least proving he is healthy and able to help another team unless you already have a way to get him out of town.

Waivers will not be an option because there is no reason to waist half of his salary.

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#27 Ender
September 14 2010, 07:40AM
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Last night when TSN put up their piece about Souray skating with the team, I thought the world had gone crazy. I am glad to see that it has in fact retained some semblance of sanity.

Souray's not invited to camp. I didn't think he would be, and he doesn't belong there.

The only question left now is whether he's left to rot at home or whether he's assigned to OKC. I think that the smart move would be the second option in an effort to get Souray to void his contract, but the Oilers and Katz may be angry enough to just pay the piper and send a very expensive message to the rest of their players.

Either way, I don't see this costing the Oilers $10M like some people have suggested. There's no way things remain like this for the next two years. If Tambi still can't find any takers by next summer and Souray hasn't skated for a full season in the NHL, both sides will be very happy to finally tear up the last year of the deal.

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#28 Reagan
September 14 2010, 07:43AM
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SourAhole!!!

Oh sorry Souray get lost already! Nice try on playing the heart string to let me back with that I'm here to create the positive aura mentality to the new players? Did this guy not realize the talent level walking into the team this year? What an A hole. He damn well knew what he was doing here yesterday with the media. I hope this guys career ends this next year.

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#29 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 14 2010, 07:45AM
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Listening to Souray yesterday I really got the impression once again that the sportsnet article was pure BS. There really is no quotes from anyone and the story was written by who?

As for the situation, it really is what it is now and I'm not sure where we go from here.

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#30 Cervantes
September 14 2010, 07:49AM
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Tambi better have a deal. Otherwise this is just shooting himself in the foot. The only way Big Sex gets moved is if he shows he still has game. That doesn't happen when he's sitting at home playing NHL11.

Also, the 'Nucks are still over the cap. Oilers 3rd for Bieksa!

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#31 Manfly
September 14 2010, 08:02AM
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Souray shouldn't expect to be welcomed back with open arms after burning his bridges. good move Tambo! let him sit 'till he's traded. we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. if we play better without him, bonus. maybe we can try for a playoff spot? if we reek, we can get another high draft pick. win-win.

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#32 Ender
September 14 2010, 08:07AM
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@Cervantes

It's past that. The Oilers don't care about Souray's salary for this year at this point; they've already chalked it up as a rainy-day expense for the 10-11 season.

If he sits for a year, it'll change his attitude. And if he gets assigned to the Barons, it'll change even faster.

Tambi is still telling everyone he's looking for a deal, but the truth is there isn't any deal for Souray out there and Tambi knows it. Likely Souray and his agent know it too. Tambi's not even actively trying to trade Souray at this point because there's no one left to talk to. Sure, if the phone rang Tambi would answer it, but it won't. And so, the Oilers have a hard decision to make.

Well, they've made it. If they're stuck paying him, they're going to at least get an object lesson for the rest of the team out of the deal.

Personally, I think it's smart. If Souray came back, what happens if he gets a sore big toe? Does he take a few games off with a 'lower-body injury' until he feels like skating again? That, and wait for the Oilers to pressure him to 'play hurt'? He'd just be looking for a way to file an official grievance over that with the NHLPA. On top of that, I think he'd be covertly encouraging all of the impressionable rookies to think the same way.

No, the Oilers have got this one right so far. There's a lot more to come yet, but they're on the right road to ridding themselves of a particularly painful ailment.

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#33 Chaz
September 14 2010, 08:08AM
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Lofty wrote:

IMO I think Tambo has a deal in place to move him that is all but a done deal.

My logic is; why would you totaly rule Souray returning to the Oil or at least proving he is healthy and able to help another team unless you already have a way to get him out of town.

Waivers will not be an option because there is no reason to waist half of his salary.

I hope that's the case, otherwise it's terrible asset management by the Oilers. I know they don't want his negative attitude around but we're still talking about a tough as nails defensman with one of the hardest shots in the league. If other teams are steering clear of him now because they are unsure of his ability to stay healthy, I don't see how this will improve if he sits....

...then again, perhaps the Oilers know he's not fully recovered and don't want him playing and getting hurt again which would even further diminish his worth....hmmmm....

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#34 brocktw
September 14 2010, 08:09AM
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I am 70 - 30 in favor of Tambis decision. First off a heathly Souray is a huge asset. Defends, scores, hits, fights. But no matter what kind of player he is, the public dressing down of Oilers managment is unacceptable. The managment team is taking a stand and saying this is not going to fly. They lose a great D man that they need, however, the message is sent. We now all know who is running the show.

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#35 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 14 2010, 08:27AM
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So how many years before Oiler fans start crying that Tambellini screwed up with Souray?

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#36 Dodd
September 14 2010, 08:34AM
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I'm pleased that Tambellini has placed the interests of the team ahead of how his management looks publicly. That takes some stones.

I doubt he would tell the press that he contacted Souray's agent about this last week had he not. It's easy to prove. BTW exactly what level of communication do we owe him after he twice threw us under the bus this summer? Correct answer: zero.

"If there's one thing I would have done differently with the Pronger situation, I would have sat him."

- Kevin Lowe, Oil Change documentary

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#37 Dave
September 14 2010, 08:46AM
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Like i've said before the Oilers made the decision, there is no way you could bring Souray back after what he said. His comments in the Matheson/Ireland article today only reinforce that. Calling himself professional as if his past actions would not reflect negatively against him at all? Arrogant and entitled still, after lots of time to reflect.

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#38 Gilmore Tuttle
September 14 2010, 08:48AM
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What is the Oiler's opinion of Sourpuss "informally" skating with some of the other players? Isn't this a bit of a conflict for them?

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#39 Scott in Grande Prairie
September 14 2010, 08:54AM
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Hey everyone...

I'm going to throw out another angle to chew on (apologies for the awkward mix of metaphors)...

Where's Souray's agent in all of this? Shouldn't he be taking some heat? If you said yes, then we agree.

Remember, when last we heard from Mr. Souray (excepting whatever he said in August), he wanted out. No ifs, ands or buts. He made his feelings clear.

So Tambo tries all summer to trade him and waive him, but to no avail.

Now, some Souray supporters are getting pissy because he may/may not have been told to stay away from camp. Can't really say that I care either whether or not he's been told anything by now - mainly because camp doesn't start until next week. For all we know, Tambo could have been planning to tell Souray to stay away this weekend or on Monday or whatever.

But that's where Souray's agent comes in. Shouldn't his agent have placed a phone call to Tambo in, like, mid-August, inquiring on whether or not his client should bother booking flights north to Edmonchuck?

I mean, I guess I don't really know what agents do, other than negotiate contracts. Maybe that's all they do. But if they do more, it seems to me that acting as a diplomatic envoy between Camp Souray and Camp Tambo might have been a good idea.

Otherwise, the Oilers and Tambellini should be applauded for taking the stand they're now taking with him. It's a very principled one - it protects the integrity of the organization and the new players they've brought in and built their future upon.

Souray, an Alberta boy through and through, should have realized that what goes around, comes around.

Sit him until you can trade him or buy him out. Take away the privilege of playing.

Souray started this little sleighride. Now Tambo's going to end it.

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#40 Ender
September 14 2010, 08:54AM
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Gilmore Tuttle wrote:

What is the Oiler's opinion of Sourpuss "informally" skating with some of the other players? Isn't this a bit of a conflict for them?

I wondered at that myself. I mean, I don't think the players rented the rink themselves. If the Oilers are paying the bill, it would have made sense to tell Souray yesterday morning that he wasn't authorized to skate on their ice.

If the players did rent the rink themselves, though, then I guess it's a free country.

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#41 Scott in Grande Prairie
September 14 2010, 08:58AM
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One more thing...

Telling a superstar/star/pretty good player to stay away from training camp until they're traded fits into the finest of the Oiler traditions. Don't be shocked or offended by what you're seeing with Souray.

Oiler fans of a certain vintage will recall that Messier essentially stayed away from camp until he was traded to New York ... and I'm not sure if it was ever confirmed if he offered to stay away or was invited to stay away.

Same with Coffey.

Same with Glenn Anderson.

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#42 Gilmore Tuttle
September 14 2010, 09:01AM
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Ender wrote:

I wondered at that myself. I mean, I don't think the players rented the rink themselves. If the Oilers are paying the bill, it would have made sense to tell Souray yesterday morning that he wasn't authorized to skate on their ice.

If the players did rent the rink themselves, though, then I guess it's a free country.

It might be a little uncomfortable in the dressing room at the skate this morning after this "edict" from Tambi. Kind of like Mr. Tillman showing up at the Eskimo Junior Cheerleader tryouts.

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#43 Milli
September 14 2010, 09:08AM
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My favorite is the 5 motnths is a long time, there excitment now.....Well, what exactly did he anticipate was gonna go down? Did he think they where gonna draft McGrubber with the pick? Come on you cannot slam an organization and then just think some fluff will make it all better. Good stand by Tambo, and a TOTAL OVER RATING OF HIMSELF BY SOURAY. I guess he forgot that this is the new NHL.

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#44 fuck off
September 14 2010, 09:12AM
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I think it's pretty damn crystal clear what happened with the communication between the Oilers and Sourray.

Friday: Tambo phones Souray's agent and informs him that Souray is not to attend the Oilers training camp. His agent then asks for the notice to be in writing. (Tambalini more than likely doesn't take that request to be serious in nature or simply disrespects it)

Monday: The Oilers discover he is skating with teammates and Souray makes public statements of his desire or intentions to attend camp. In return Tambo writes up an email and fires back through the media that Souray is not welcome or wanted and that he is to keep his distance from Rexall.

Clearly Souray's ego is bigger than his "sexiness" and he simply was trying to make himself look as presentable and pseudo-humble in the media to attract a new NHL team to play for. Unfortunately (for him) he's most likely to land in the AHL or ECHL, where he rightfully belongs.

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#45 Ender
September 14 2010, 09:25AM
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@fuck off

While I agree with some of your comment, there's one line you might want to reconsider:

"His agent then asks for the notice to be in writing. (Tambalini more than likely doesn't take that request to be serious in nature or simply disrespects it)"

Why would you think that? Any such request from Souray's agent would likely be taken very seriously; so seriously, if fact, that the wording would be scrutinized by management, Oilers HR, and team legal. That would take some time. Monday would be the soonest that such a communication could have been provided.

You don't seriously think that Souray's agent would ask for such a document and Tambi would think "Ah, I could pound off an e-mail in a couple of minutes, but I don't feel like it. The whole thing will likely blow over anyway." Tambi's not a chump. He's doing things by the book, and so far it's gone about as well as it could have, barring the whoops at the rink yesterday.

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#46 fuck off
September 14 2010, 09:33AM
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@Ender

You're right on that one point but it obviously was something I wasn't going to dig into the absolute depths about. However such an email wouldn't take that long to write but I do agree that it would have been examined by HR and the legal team. Which would have taken an afternoon, not a weekend.

Overall I think Tambo simply "put it off" for the weekend as it is the weekend and simply started on it Monday morning. Not to mention HR and the Legal Team is most likely the ones who were not available until Monday morning. Also in these theories you have to calculate the amount of time and appointments he (Tamb) had throughout the weekend involving travel to Penticton and other GM requirements at the rookies camp (media availability, meetings, coach/trainer discussions, ect).

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#47 hamzinoilcntry
September 14 2010, 09:35AM
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Just for the record. This is a bad idea to not invite him to camp. We are allready weak on the back end with 3 questionable goalies and one in the slammer. Sheldon Souray although not the same player he was 5 years ago is still the best d-man that we are not inviting to camp.

Ridiculous!! Tambellini talks about the rebuild and the guy (Souray) has publicly admitted that he wants to be a professional and play out his contract. At the very least does this not increase his trade value? More than not allowing him to play? Come on. Tambellini clearly wants to look like the one in power here but has totally left the best interest of this team in the cold!

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#48 Scott in Grande Prairie
September 14 2010, 09:42AM
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I respectfully disagree, hamzinoilcntry...

"Publicly" admitting that he wants to "be a professional and play out his contract," is fine and dandy but the public doesn't get to see the pollution he could potentially bring to the dressing room and the positive environment.

Simply put, you can't have a guy like Souray around the kids (and other veterans, for that matter), making smart-ass remarks behind the backs of management and coaches.

Oh sure - on the ice, he'll still have the deadly slapper from the point and he'll bring as much toughness as his brittle-as-a-chandelier shoulders will allow, but it just won't be worth the tradeoff in pollution of the Oilers ecosystem.

Souray (and his agent) should have realized that this was going to be one of the scenarios when he decided to speak out in April. Sorry - but I don't feel sorry for him and I don't see (much) value in bringing him to camp. And, like I say, it's not like there haven't been (Oiler) players in the past who sat out of camp and weren't trade-able.

We're just going to need to be patient.

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#49 Dodd
September 14 2010, 09:43AM
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This is simpler than we're making it:

Fact: It was in the team's best interest to hold off as long as possible in case a trade could be made.

Souray made it clear that neither side needs to deal with the other "respectfully".

Tambellini owes Souray nothing. The team should be his main concern, and he proved that.

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#50 fuck off
September 14 2010, 09:49AM
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@ hamzinoilcntry, Hockeyjedi, and anyone else in favor of Souray going through camp and playing for the Oilers

Souray's attempt at humility in the media yesterday was the best act he could put on and it seems obvious to me if you read his comments that he has no inclination of apologizing. He, in fact, is so arrogant and egomaniacal that he thinks that the Oilers brass should be bringing the apology to him. Since the proposal to make amends isn't at a 50-50 balance, there is no way that it will be reconciled.

Sure it'd be great to have him play and get some kind of value out of him but that obviously isn't going to happen without a mutual agreement. Instead Souray will either get traded ASAP or be sent down to the minor's to 'prove himself'.

Personally I think the Oilers should find another AHL or ECHL affiliate to ship him too so that he still cannot affect or infect any of the Oiler prospects and minor league veterans with his viral self-first mindset.

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