Up Around the Bend

Lowetide
September 13 2010 07:28PM

Sheldon Souray has turned over a new leaf. His comments in this tsn story explain away the spring comments and point to the promise of a new season. The question is: will Oilers management feel the same way? 

I'm not certain the Oilers management group will forgive and forget. We have a wealth of case histories on the subject, dating back to Comrie and Smyth and beyond. Oilers ownership/management have traditionally had long memories and short fuses when it comes to star players who won't march in lock step.I believe Sheldon Souray gets traded in the next couple of weeks. It takes two to tango, and when Souray says:

  •  "I'm here in camp, and I'm here to do the best that I can and I want to keep things positive.  I have something to prove to myself first of all and to my teammates and to whoever has doubted me.  I'm using that as motivation for this year.  I'm focused, I'm ready to go and I'm healthy and those are the main things."

it represents exactly half of the equation. If Steve Tambellini tells the media "all is forgiven" Oiler fans can officially consider their blueline upgraded from a couple of weeks ago. However, that would run counter to what we've seen in previous years. This is a very good time for Steve Tambellini to prove he is not only the man in charge, but the man who should be in charge.

We wait.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Racki
September 13 2010, 07:33PM
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Fat and bloated.

Just kidding.. I didn't see him. I'm sure he looks dreamy though still.

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#2 @NateInVegas
September 13 2010, 07:52PM
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I will not tolerate players that think it's about them, when it's about the team...

We cannot make decisions that cost the team...

I would rather play with 7 defenseman than 8, when I know that person is not sold out to be part of this team.

Cannot play with him...

Cannot win with him...

Cannot rebuild with him...

Can't do it.

I want winners!!!

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#3 Archaeologuy
September 13 2010, 08:09PM
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I didnt have that big of a problem with Souray anyway. He felt he was inappropriately asked to play before he was ready to play. He had an issue with a team that had no desire to win and until the middle of last year had no clear direction under current management.

I'd be pissed too.

He never slagged the city or the fans, he slagged the organization. Should I be angry that Souray shared my own complaints about the Oilers?

He asked for a trade a year before it ever became public and nobody could tell based on his play. The guy is a professional. He'll play to the best of his abilities ever night, I dont doubt that. Maybe guys with access like Brownlee could tell me that in the lockeroom he was a cancer and then I'd say that he shouldnt be anywhere near Rexall Place, but until then I have no issue with him.

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#4 Robin Brownlee
September 13 2010, 08:30PM
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LT: As per the "breaking" news from ON's resident Milhouse, er, Rosscreek, that didn't take long.

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#5 Gilmore Tuttle
September 13 2010, 10:51PM
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Cervantes wrote:

Guaranteed contract just means money. It doesn't mean playing time, or even what league. And it's binding to both parties. Souray can't walk, neither can the Oilers.

He can whine and complain and hold a presser every day to say how much he misses the game. The Oilers have his rights, they can sit him for as long as they want, as long as they pay him.

Yes, but how many people will the Oilers be paying to stay home? At this point it is Souray and Quinn. What about Khabibulin in the next month or so? How many millions of dollars is that when combined with the payouts of Nilsson and others and the overpayment of Horcoff, etc?

Why is this part of the Rexall empire so poorly run? It doesn't help RS&E when they go to City Council and claim they lose money under their current situation. If I were a Councilor, I would ask what how much of that loss was due to incompetence of the front office and how much was due to the old arena.

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#6 Sean F
September 13 2010, 11:11PM
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I think Sheldon showed up today on the advise of his agent to play the good, positive guy BS. Knowing that he probably wouldn't be invited to camp, he could show up and act like he wants to be there even if it's the last place he wants to be. Certainly wasn't a good idea on behalf of the Oilers to give him a warning and let them play games with the decision.

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#7 bdiddy78
September 14 2010, 12:03AM
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This whole mess is just a gong show. I don't believe what either side says but I am quickly losing the optimism that I felt when Mr. Katz bought the team. Under his ownership, the Oilers are showing a disturbing tendency to say anything, true or not, that they think makes them look better or gets them what they want. I have heard from reliable sources that they have had to buy up tickets last minute to preserve the current sellout streak. And does anyone really believe that they are losing money, as they have told city council?

This reminds me of the behaviour of the men and women that work in parliament and the legislature. "If we get rid of the long form census, we can't be held accountable." "If we muzzle our government scientists, their research can't make us look bad." "If we deny the findings of a respectable scientist and attempt to destroy his name, we don't have to deal with the mess that is the oilsands."

On an unrelated matter, the TSN article linked to in the post refers to the Coliseum as "the Rexall Centre". Did I blink and miss another name change or is this just another example of sloppy reporting in the almighty MSM?

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#8 Chris.
September 13 2010, 07:30PM
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@ Anyone with a clue who saw Souray today:

How does he look? Fast? Strong? Healthy? Remotely tradable?

*Fingers crossed*

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#9 SumOil
September 13 2010, 07:48PM
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I do think that Tambo should bridge the distances and accept Souray back. He definitely makes our team better and I dont think he will be a distraction in the locker room. He might be a distraction for the management, but not for the players. Also this story has been run so many times this off-season, that there is nothing more to be said or written. The whole Souray is still in edmonton thing should die down by the end of training camp. Tambo and Souray then must endorse that he is an important part of the team and then conduct business as usual!

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#10 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 13 2010, 07:53PM
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This is a great opportunity to turn nothing into something. If Souray has a good first half the price for Souray at the dealine could go as high as a first rounder in exchange.

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#11 PabstBR55
September 13 2010, 07:55PM
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LT, what do you mean when you say that Tambellini can demonstrate that he SHOULD be the man in charge?

This could be interpereted two ways: that he should accept Souray's interest in making amends and improve the team by including him back into the lineup, or by banishing him to the underworld as a lesson to all that he rules with an iron fist.

Clearly Sheldon is arriving at camp with something to prove. Smart management should want to harness that enthusiasm.

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#12 RossCreekNation
September 13 2010, 08:18PM
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BREAKING (via the Oilers)...

Tambellini: Souray was informed last week that he will not be attending Training Camp. More details coming soon.

EDIT (my bad): http://twitter.com/NHL_Oilers/status/24437241759

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#13 SirFozz
September 13 2010, 08:22PM
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Chris. wrote:

@ Anyone with a clue who saw Souray today:

How does he look? Fast? Strong? Healthy? Remotely tradable?

*Fingers crossed*

Sexy as always. Damn him.

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#14 D
September 13 2010, 08:23PM
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Would a healthy Souray and Khabibulin be enough to ice a competitive team this year? If so, and if all the stars align in the right direction, maybe keeping Souray is the way to go until at least the trade deadline. If the team is within striking distance of the playoffs, keep Souray. If not, try to get something at the trade deadline when contenders might be looking for an upgrade.

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#15 Milli
September 13 2010, 08:25PM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

I will not tolerate players that think it's about them, when it's about the team...

We cannot make decisions that cost the team...

I would rather play with 7 defenseman than 8, when I know that person is not sold out to be part of this team.

Cannot play with him...

Cannot win with him...

Cannot rebuild with him...

Can't do it.

I want winners!!!

Mike Singeltary, one of my favorite coaches and players. Thats the guy I follow into battle!

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#16 Milli
September 13 2010, 08:28PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

BREAKING (via the Oilers)...

Tambellini: Souray was informed last week that he will not be attending Training Camp. More details coming soon.

EDIT (my bad): http://twitter.com/NHL_Oilers/status/24437241759

Ross, anyone else says this I think they are bluffing. You, I believe and wow, I think I like Tambo's stones, although I'm not sure I agree.

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#17 bigrroberto
September 13 2010, 08:28PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

BREAKING (via the Oilers)...

Tambellini: Souray was informed last week that he will not be attending Training Camp. More details coming soon.

EDIT (my bad): http://twitter.com/NHL_Oilers/status/24437241759

link please?

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#18 Archaeologuy
September 13 2010, 08:29PM
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@bigrroberto

www.sportsnet.ca

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#19 James
September 13 2010, 08:31PM
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Tambellini was asked a week or two ago about the status of Souray, and I believe his quote was something like: "There's a chance he comes to camp."

But you should have seen the look on his face. He still seemed like he was barely holding back his bile. I fully concur with LT's hopes here -- it'd be nice if all parties involved could show some maturity here. I appreciated Souray's attitude today. Would be nice to see some constructive comments from v3.0, too.

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#20 jake
September 13 2010, 08:34PM
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Bob Mackenzie's twitter is saying he won't be comming to camp as per Tambellini.

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#21 RossCreekNation
September 13 2010, 08:41PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

LT: As per the "breaking" news from ON's resident Milhouse, er, Rosscreek, that didn't take long.

Milhouse?

DAMN!!

Burn!

Ouch... seriously!

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#22 ubermiguel
September 13 2010, 08:44PM
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Wow. Makes it harder to move him if they can't prove he's healthy and in game shape. Unless there's a deal in the works...hmmmm.

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#23 SirFozz
September 13 2010, 08:47PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Wow. Makes it harder to move him if they can't prove he's healthy and in game shape. Unless there's a deal in the works...hmmmm.

I wonder... let's ask Milhouse.

@Tyler Shakur (RossCreek)

Is there a deal in the works?

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#25 Tyler
September 13 2010, 08:55PM
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LT - Aren't you at least a little bit agog at the pile of money wasted over the past few years? Seems to me the organization deserves a lot of criticism for that. Best case here is probably someone claiming him on recall waivers, which costs the Oilers $4.5MM over two years.

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#26 SirFozz
September 13 2010, 08:57PM
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Tyler wrote:

LT - Aren't you at least a little bit agog at the pile of money wasted over the past few years? Seems to me the organization deserves a lot of criticism for that. Best case here is probably someone claiming him on recall waivers, which costs the Oilers $4.5MM over two years.

Would that be more/ less attractive than taking on a terrible contract back?

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#27 jake
September 13 2010, 08:57PM
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Tambellini's conversations with Katz over this must have been interesting to say the least.

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#29 @NateInVegas
September 13 2010, 09:04PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Milhouse?

DAMN!!

Burn!

Ouch... seriously!

Bryan Adams thinks that cuts like a knife.

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#30 a lg dubl dubl
September 13 2010, 09:10PM
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aww and i was almost done sewing back together my souray jersey...

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#31 book¡e
September 13 2010, 09:13PM
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I find it hard to have a clear cut opinion on Souray because I really have no way of knowing his impact on other team members.

If it is just about a spat between him and management and he was generally a positive in the room then I think management should let him play.

However, if he was a bit of a poison in the room in any fashion then I have no problem with Tambi saying 'not welcome here'. His offensive production is not worth any negative impact on the young players.

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#32 Clarkenstein
September 13 2010, 09:15PM
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Why would you expect Tambeltooni to communicate with Souray? He doesn't communicate with anybody. Case in point, Quinn, when asked what his new job would be, said he didn't know as he hadn't talked to Tamblebumbli since he was fired/demoted/re-assigned/sent home. Comrie had heard nothing. Pisani had heard nothing. At least have the decency to tell them their services won't be necessary.

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#33 Gilmore Tuttle
September 13 2010, 09:17PM
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Even if he does come back and they let him play, what is the over/under on him going out with a broken/strained/pulled/hyper-extended something? Will this happen before or after Khabi hurts his back?

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#34 Aitch
September 13 2010, 09:18PM
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Brilliant bit of PR on behalf of Souray's camp. If he was indeed told this a week ago, then what a perfect way to generate some sympathy but to talk to the media today and play nice.

...and if he really does dislike management the way he suggested in the spring, what an opportunity to make Tambo & Co. look bad.

edit I should say I think this is a mistake by Tambo. I don't see how a motivated Souray a) doesn't help the team early, and b) doesn't help the team moving forward by increasing his trade value, which is lower than a snake's belly.

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#35 RossCreekNation
September 13 2010, 09:19PM
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SirFozz wrote:

I wonder... let's ask Milhouse.

@Tyler Shakur (RossCreek)

Is there a deal in the works?

*Concentrate and ask again*

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#36 PabstBR55
September 13 2010, 09:21PM
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Tambellini had better have a plan here.

Sitting Souray because he called a spade a spade is from the league of bush. Big Sex was the only free agent after a miserable couple of years willing to sign here. He was a badass on the ice, and played with pride even when the team played without emotion or identity.

If we get into November and there's no sign of a trade, and our best defenseman is playing down on the farm, I can only conclude that our team is far more rotten than I had imagined.

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#37 Chris.
September 13 2010, 09:21PM
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@Lowetide

Can the Oilers prevent Souray from reporting to camp? Do they have the right to sit him out and effectively end his career when both parties have names on a contract? Would Souray have grounds to file a grievence with the NHLPA? The Oilers didn't just promise Souray a salary; they promised him a job somewhere in the organization. (Don't get me wrong... I'm not upset for Sheldon... just curious.)

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#38 RossCreekNation
September 13 2010, 09:22PM
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@Aitch

Darren Millard says Souray told him his agent was just notified by the Oilers today.

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#39 Gilmore Tuttle
September 13 2010, 09:22PM
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jake wrote:

Tambellini's conversations with Katz over this must have been interesting to say the least.

Maybe Daryl will re-assign Sourpuss to the mansion rink to give skating lessons to the neighborhood kids. He could get some satisfaction breaking the local house's windows with his shots.

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#40 Travis Dakin
September 13 2010, 09:23PM
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@Chris.

They have to pay him... the don't have to play him.

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#42 @NateInVegas
September 13 2010, 09:24PM
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Does it make anyone view his comments post bag skate after the canceled trip to Palm Springs differently?

Believe some people viewed to as keeping things loose...

Probably a direct efffu to the coaches&mngt.

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#44 jeanshorts
September 13 2010, 09:29PM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Tambellini had better have a plan here.

Sitting Souray because he called a spade a spade is from the league of bush. Big Sex was the only free agent after a miserable couple of years willing to sign here. He was a badass on the ice, and played with pride even when the team played without emotion or identity.

If we get into November and there's no sign of a trade, and our best defenseman is playing down on the farm, I can only conclude that our team is far more rotten than I had imagined.

At the same time though, if you were the boss of something and one of your employees came out and talked TONS of sh*t about you (weather it's true or not, warranted or not, etc) would you really be like "Yeah, no problem. Please come back next year"? Especially in a situation like the Oilers are in, with a ton of young, impressionable guys in the room. The last thing this team needs is a precedent set where you can bitch and complain all you want about the team with no repercussions.

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#45 Dave
September 13 2010, 09:30PM
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I agree with not having Souray at training camp. Looks like i got this one right as i didnt agree with most MSM/bloggers saying he should come in and play well in order to raise his value. I think there was no way you could bring him back for the same reasons Gregor mentioned why the Eskies couldnt keep Armstrong.

You get one chance with the kids and i dont think the potential to have Souray chat with them about his beef is worth it.

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#46 Chris.
September 13 2010, 09:31PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

They have to pay him... the don't have to play him.

Are you sure? In the real world people enjoy getting paid not to work and would never contest such an occurance... but I'm not sure a standard NHL contract works that way. The Oilers don't need to put Souray into their regular lineup (I agree) but it looks like they are sidestepping their contractual obligation to Souray by not even allowing him to compete for a roster spot at camp. You can't just cut him... he is (for better or worse) a signed player.

(It's not like Oiler's managemnt has buggered up on legal before)

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#47 Travis Dakin
September 13 2010, 09:34PM
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@Lowetide

RE: Quinn

He was fired.... in a nice way. He should expect to be no more than an afterthought at this point. He's like the King of the Oilers now. Just a figurehead.

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#48 Travis Dakin
September 13 2010, 09:35PM
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Chris. wrote:

Are you sure? In the real world people enjoy getting paid not to work and would never contest such an occurance... but I'm not sure a standard NHL contract works that way. The Oilers don't need to put Souray into their regular lineup (I agree) but it looks like they are sidestepping their contractual obligation to Souray by not even allowing him to compete for a roster spot at camp. You can't just cut him... he is (for better or worse) a signed player.

(It's not like Oiler's managemnt has buggered up on legal before)

Their obligation is to pay him. Look at the Isles and Yashin.

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#49 RossCreekNation
September 13 2010, 09:37PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

They have to pay him... the don't have to play him.

Agreed.

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#50 PabstBR55
September 13 2010, 09:38PM
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@jeanshorts

I don't disagree. But Tambellini has to DO SOMETHING. Letting this stew only makes it worse, builds more uncertainty and resentment, and under the fog of confusion, is a poor way to entice professional hockey players to want to seek a career with the Edmonton Oilers.

At least if your boss doesn't like you, he fires you. You both move on.

Trade him, cut him loose, put him on re-entry waivers ... something. Pretty soon Souray will react, give a more candid disclosure to the media, and then you have a real mess on your hands.

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