Forget the buzz surrounding rumours Sheldon Souray has put his house on the market — it means nothing in the context of whether or not he wants to be traded by the Edmonton Oilers. Besides, I don’t even know for sure if it’s true.
The question for me, given the payroll the Oilers have invested in the back end and the fact Souray’s value is as high as I can imagine it’ll be at any point in what remains of his career, is: should GM Steve Tambellini be asking Souray to waive his no-movement clause so he can explore the possibility of a trade?
In my mind, the answer is yes — if for no other reason than it never hurts to see what’s out there. I’m always talking about Tom Gilbert being the guy to move when Tambellini goes fishing for a forward, and I still think he makes the most sense, but there’s no downside to taking calls on Souray.
If some of those calls came from, say, Phoenix, San Jose, Anaheim or Los Angeles, where Souray’s daughters live with former wife Angelica Bridges, is there a chance he’d happily waive the NMC?
I think so.
IS THAT NO?
The rumour I passed along at the end of the season about the possibility Souray asked the Oilers for a trade, and his response to it, still nags me.
You’ve likely heard or read Souray’s “denial” after reporters tracked him down a few days after he’d cleaned out his stall and left without talking to the media. Here’s excerpts of what he said:
“I’ve been getting phone calls from here … my mom called me to ask about it. Who knows where it’s coming from?
“Our stalls aren’t even cold yet. I’m not worrying about it (the rumour). I don’t think it deserves talking about. It doesn’t deserve a no or deserve a yes. It’s fodder for the media. “If it was something I was feeling, I wouldn’t voice it through the media anyway.”
Like I said, I’ve read the accounts and watched the interview on TV more than once, and all I can say is unless I’m missing something, what Souray said falls well short of being a vehement denial. No?
Did Souray, at any point, say, “No. That’s not true?” He denied talking to Tambellini, but did he deny asking for a trade? What do you make of, “It doesn’t deserve a no and doesn’t deserve a yes?”
And the last quote . . . isn’t Souray saying he wouldn’t tell the media he’d asked for a trade even if it was the case?
Just asking. It’s what I do.
I LIKE IT
There’s nothing like a positive comment from somebody you respect to make your day. I got one from Lowetide the other day. He wrote:
“I love the annual NHL entry draft and specifically all of the lists and predictions that come from various sources on the Al Gore. I’ve come to believe Bob McKenzie is some kind of savant when it comes to predicting the top 30 and in fact when he posts his list, I print it and wait for the draft instead of buying all the publications (on line and in newsstands) that have become money making productions.
“The other guy we need to pay attention to this time of year is Robin Brownlee. Back when he wrote for the Sun (who stepped into an elevator shaft coverage wise when Brownlee left and have not yet recovered), Brownlee’s annual “prediction” article on the weekend of the draft was possibly the most anticipated single daily article in my home. I seriously raced out of the house to buy the Edmonton Sun on that one day each year.”
That’s high praise from a high place. I’m flattered Lowetide remembers all the educated guesswork I did leading up to the Entry Draft. Getting the dope took a lot of phone calls and a lot of beer. I’m not sure if I can replicate that here, but I’ll probably give it a shot between now and draft day.
WHILE I’M AT IT
— People on fansites like to crap on Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun for the rumours he churns out, but people eat up the stuff, If they didn’t, Garrioch wouldn’t be doing it.
The thing is, he’s connected, whether you believe that or not. He just doesn’t lock everything down before he runs it, but that’s what the newspaper wants. Fans read it, so he produces it.
Here’s one example from a few years back: I’d written that Kevin Lowe had talked to the Florida Panthers about trading Jason Smith. Lowe and I almost got into a fistfight over the story — one I stand by to this day — when he got in my face at the rink and swore up and down it was bogus.
Garrioch phones me up and asks about the Smith item. I told Bruce, “Lowe says it’s a bogus rumour and I’m full of shit.” Garrioch replied, “But it WAS a rumour, right?” Two days later the item appears in his Sunday column. The Sun wants it. Garrioch delivers.
— Unless I’m out to lunch, Rob Daum is the obvious choice to coach the Springfield Falcons this coming season. My sense is Tambellini agrees. What I want to know is why it’s taking so long for an announcement?
— I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I’m told by somebody I trust the Oilers will definitely add a second assistant coach. The only question, and it’s a big one, is who?
— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.