SHELDON SOURAY: NOT DONE YET

Robin Brownlee
November 21 2011 02:12PM

Healthy and happy again, Sheldon Souray resisted the urge to dish any dirt when reporters gathered around this morning looking for some juicy quotes about his unhappy time with the Edmonton Oilers. Souray took the high road, and it looked good on him.

Written off as a spent force and a malcontent has-been by a lot of people, including me, after speaking his mind got him banished to the AHL on loan by the Oilers last season, Souray has SIUTBOHC through the 19 games he's played with the Dallas Stars.

In that sense, he's been every bit of an unlikely feel-good a story for the Stars as Nikolai Khabibulin, who was supposed to be finished, done and over with as an NHL goaltender, has been for the Oilers.

With 4-9-13 for the Stars, Souray has been an anchor on the Dallas defence. He's been scoring at a rate we haven't seen since 2008-09, when he had 53 points with the Oilers before injuries sent his career sideways and his public disdain for the way he was handled by GM Steve Tambellini landed him on the outs in Edmonton.

At 35, Souray is playing the brand of hockey for the Stars that fans in Edmonton didn't get enough of as injuries limited him to seasons of 26, 81 and 37 games on a big ticket with the Oilers.

He's obviously not done yet.

SPEAKS HIS MIND

As Jason Gregor suggested in his GDB, Souray's source of discontent in Edmonton was with Tambellini and team management in concert with the frustrations brought on by injuries and the Oilers inability to compete. He had a lousy time on a lousy team.

That said, I never once heard Souray trash the city or fans of the team. I never heard anybody once say Souray was a bad teammate. An unhappy one? Yes. There's a difference.

Despite good intentions on both sides, Souray never got settled in here and it went wrong from the get-go. Feeling he was rushed back from a shoulder injury after signing with the Oilers and missing 56 games in 2007-08, things started to slide between Souray and Tambellini pretty quickly, despite those 53 points in his only healthy season.

When Souray sounded off at the end of the 2009-10 season, he was finished as an Oiler, big ticket or not. Rather than have him around last season, Tambellini loaned him to Hershey of the AHL while owner Daryl Katz kept signing his cheques.

I applauded Tambellini more than once for sticking by his guns -- keeping Souray away from a dressing room full of young players and eliminating any chance his unhappiness would poison the well after his public bowel movement on the organization. On principle, I still do.

MOVING ON

Souray was made available to any team that wanted him through trade and waivers at a cut rate, but nobody bit. He never did stay healthy long enough to attract much interest. The New York Rangers took at look-see in Hershey but eventually passed. He finished last season with 4-15-19 in 40 games with the Bears. He looked done. I thought he was.

Obviously not. Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk thought different and took a chance on him, signing Souray to a one-year deal at $1.65. So far, he's looked like money in the bank -- big and nasty as always and unloading that wicked shot from the point. The kind of defenseman the Oilers could use right about now, no? Classic SIUTBOHC.

So, when reporters leaned in today looking for some notepad-filling commentary, Souray could have been excused for unloading another movement on Tambellini and on those who deemed him done.

"We're just focusing here for tonight. It's a big game for us here," said Souray. "We're needing the points. We're in a little bit of a tailspin here, so it's just a bit of focusing and getting ready for tonight's game.

"Edmonton wasn't the first team I played for and it's been a couple years since I played there, so it's really just another game for us. It's been awhile since I was an Oiler, so I'm really just trying to focus on tonight and what we have to do here."

Healthy. Happy. He's moved on.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 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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#52 D
November 21 2011, 05:22PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You can't just skip over the history between Souray and Tambellini and answer that question. It's not as simple as that.

For many reasons, Souray wasn't happy here. He's found a good situation in Dallas.

@RB and @smiliegirl15 - very true and I agree. The history between Tambellini and Souray cannot be ignored. Still, it's really tempting to think where this team might be if Souray was happy and the blueline had him and Whitney (healthy of course) in play.

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#53 Quicksilver ballet
November 21 2011, 05:26PM
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There's a difference between the Pronger situation and the Souray one. Souray had asked to be moved a full year before he had no other option but to choose and go public with his demands. Pronger only decided in December he wanted out and was givin his wishes once he played that Strachan card.

Souray was more than patient in how he conducted his request. It was probably Tambellinis lack of action that forced Souray to play his cards this way. This ship storm was every bit as much an Oiler management problem as it is a Sheldon Souray problem. When the organization throws one of their own under the bus like this, it can only mean one thing...incompetence confirmed on more than one front.

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#54 Quicksilver ballet
November 21 2011, 05:37PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

I speak Russian, but I have to disagree - this is not the ideal place for you to publicly come out of the closet.

I thought we agreed to wait till Christmas before we announced our intentions Menacer. Did you atleast tell your parents yet Luv?

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#55 DSF
November 21 2011, 05:38PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

There's a difference between the Pronger situation and the Souray one. Souray had asked to be moved a full year before he had no other option but to choose and go public with his demands. Pronger only decided in December he wanted out and was givin his wishes once he played that Strachan card.

Souray was more than patient in how he conducted his request. It was probably Tambellinis lack of action that forced Souray to play his cards this way. This ship storm was every bit as much an Oiler management problem as it is a Sheldon Souray problem. When the organization throws one of their own under the bus like this, it can only mean one thing...incompetence confirmed on more than one front.

For the record...it was actually two years.

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#56 Hemmertime
November 21 2011, 05:40PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Seriously, I'm not going to start from square one for those who haven't been following along.

We ghost ride whips here. We have the GDB, the OGDP and the NSOGDP. We have SIUTBOHC. We have RX1 and on and on. Perhaps we should produce an Oilersnation For Dummies handbook.

I'd buy it. I've been around these parts for a few years, never miss an article (if I do, I check the previous days, but thanks to smartphones and bathroom breaks have all the time I need!) but even I had no idea what SIUTBOHC was... google didn't answer, thank god the comments did or I wouldn't get any sleep tonight.

But seriously, I'd buy it, write it.

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#57 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
November 21 2011, 05:45PM
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@ Robin Brownlee.

I'm no math expert, but 4-19-13?

Also, the Official ONHFD needs to be written. I'm not a "New Reader" per se, but after crushing too many heroin beers, I find myself strug-g-g-g-ling with some of the acronysms thrown around here.

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#58 michael
November 21 2011, 06:17PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Seriously, I'm not going to start from square one for those who haven't been following along.

We ghost ride whips here. We have the GDB, the OGDP and the NSOGDP. We have SIUTBOHC. We have RX1 and on and on. Perhaps we should produce an Oilersnation For Dummies handbook.

I'd buy one for stocking stuffer for my wife. She sometimes looks over my shoulder and wonders what I am reading.

We need T-shirts with that on it also. Is Kent ever going to get some Nation swag made. I'd like a sweater or something with the Nations logo on it.

Crosby 1G and 2 A is just sick.

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#59 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
November 21 2011, 06:31PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Right you are. I was never part of the FMNF movement, but one cannot deny it was a sizeable faction.

Here's the thing. With all the acronyms we throw around here, there's no question a new reader -- and we welcome them -- is going to wonder what we're talking about from time to time. Until we come up with the ONHFD -- Oilersnation Handbook For Dummies -- we're going to have to explain from time to time. That's OK.

What isn't OK is stunted dillholes like wtf, who have nothing better to do than pull their heads out of a bag of model airplane glue a few times a day and tap out some horsecrap post with their greasy little fingers with the sole intention of pissing people off because something is missing in their lives. Why should we pay because they quit school in Grade 9, hate working the late shift at 7-Eleven and have to cruise around with their inflatable girlfriends in POS cars with those grey plastic wheel covers you buy at Canadian Tire?

They deserve to be called out, mocked and ridiculed. Consider it done.

haha... bag of model airplane glue,, that's gold.

.....brings me back to kindergarten

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#60 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 21 2011, 07:23PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Right you are. I was never part of the FMNF movement, but one cannot deny it was a sizeable faction.

Here's the thing. With all the acronyms we throw around here, there's no question a new reader -- and we welcome them -- is going to wonder what we're talking about from time to time. Until we come up with the ONHFD -- Oilersnation Handbook For Dummies -- we're going to have to explain from time to time. That's OK.

What isn't OK is stunted dillholes like wtf, who have nothing better to do than pull their heads out of a bag of model airplane glue a few times a day and tap out some horsecrap post with their greasy little fingers with the sole intention of pissing people off because something is missing in their lives. Why should we pay because they quit school in Grade 9, hate working the late shift at 7-Eleven and have to cruise around with their inflatable girlfriends in POS cars with those grey plastic wheel covers you buy at Canadian Tire?

They deserve to be called out, mocked and ridiculed. Consider it done.

this post seems to grow and get better with age...

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#61 Harlie
November 21 2011, 07:25PM
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It's great for Souray how things have turned out and we have 2 stellar number 1 picks. The universe is balanced. It's time to move on. Thanks Robin.

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#62 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 21 2011, 08:15PM
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@DSF

Hey did you see that going into tonight Gagner has been the 12th best defensive forward in the leauge this year? (for guys that have played 10+ games)

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#63 A-Mc
November 21 2011, 09:03PM
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Brutal offense tonight. I don't understand how a team understands that you need to shoot the puck to score on one night, and the next they totally forget.

There were so many opportunities to get a puck on net but the oil consistently went for the pass.

*sigh* so frustrating.

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#64 Rama Lama
November 22 2011, 10:04AM
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I always felt that Tamby was too hard on Souray! All the comments about wanting to "change the culture"' , of the team was directed at Souray.

I think that Tamby handled this very unprofessionally at the expense of a solid defenseman with a rocket of a shot. The last time I checked we did not have many defenseman like this. When Quinn was upset with Souray or vice versa, Tamby could have helped recover this relationship, instead Tamby did nothing and for that he has to take responsibility.

It was obvious to anyone, they were not talking to each other and were doing it through the media. Tamby lost both face and money during this process and we have yet to find a defenseman that has Sourays skill set. What a shame!

I wonder how long it would have taken Souray to drop the gloves and defend his team against physical play like we suffered last niGht........if he was still with us. The litmus test regarding the attitude of a players should always be his peers.......and all the Oilers seemed to support him through this ridicolous process that Quinn and Tamby put Souray through!

Shame on all the Oilers Brass........they need to be replaced.

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#65 Spaghetti - Team Facalto
November 22 2011, 10:12AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

it is an inside joke, and so far only your mom has been allowed on the inside... or was it us allowed inside your...nevermind

DAMN!!!! Poor Troll Got Schooled.

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#66 Shadypro
November 22 2011, 11:54AM
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I'd be pissed off to if the only time management spoke to me while in the hospital was to ask if I'd accept a trade to San Jose...

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