So, the Edmonton Oilers still haven’t done anything to smooth things over with defenceman Sheldon Souray. How much abuse and neglect can one man endure?
Excuse me as my stomach contents surge up my throat — NOT part of the diet program I’m on — but does this stalemate between Souray, sulking for months because the Oilers haven’t managed to trade him or give him away, know no end?
To hear Souray tell it, in an account by staff at Sportsnet.ca, the Oilers have yet to do anything to make amends for the mis-treatment he’s had to put up with and that prompted him to ask, privately and later publicly, for his ticket out of town.
In part, the no-quote item reads: "Souray told Sportsnet that the team has made no effort to smooth things over with him.
"The 34-year-old blueliner criticized team management at the end of last season, stating there was pressure from them to continue playing — despite his lingering injuries. He also said that was the reason why other players around the league did not want to play with the organization."
If Souray actually said anything new, it wasn’t in the item.
I took a run at the Souray situation back on Aug. 5, so I won’t go over it all again — as if anybody with a functioning brain stem who has been paying attention isn’t aware of the details of this messy divorce.
Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe did, however, take a rambling go at it today in an interview on Oilers Lunch with Bob Stauffer, who asked him about the Souray situation.
"I don’t have the answer to that," Lowe said, when Stauffer asked him where things sit now. "Clearly, it’s no secret Steve (Tambellini) has been talking to other managers about potentially trading him, but nothing has happened to this point.
"He was on waivers, where everybody had a crack at him. But no one grabbed him. I’m really not sure what Sheldon’s future is. Clearly, it’ll be more obvious to everyone in the upcoming weeks. From the organization’s standpoint, and I haven’t talked to Steve in a number of days, I can honestly say I’m not sure what his future holds.
"Most importantly at this juncture in the franchise’s history, we really have to be cognisant of what’s best for the franchise long-term. I suspect that will factor in to any decisions made about Sheldon."
Thank goodness for that.
Stauffer then asked Lowe if it’s possible Souray could be back playing with the Oilers (with the gun of necessity at his head) this fall.
"People say things," explained Lowe, after Stauffer referenced Lowe’s often-used "expect the unexpected" line. "If you’re thin-skinned in this business, you’re not going to last.
"Players have been traded and come back. Players have left and said things and came back. It’s all really about the greater good of the organization, whatever that is. Back to my answer prior to this question — I don’t know what the answer is.
"Obviously Steve, in conjunction with his staff, and consulting with Daryl Katz, the owner, is going to make a decision on Sheldon’s fate if someone else doesn’t make it prior to that by proposing a deal to satisfy his request and have him move on, will make a decision on Sheldon’s future which works best for the organization."
At long last, clarity.
AND ANOTHER THING…
I don’t have a clue who "Oilbaron" is (and don’t care), but he/she/it is Exhibit A when it comes to the many things I don’t understand about website comment sections, like we have here at Oilersnation.
Why is it people like "Oilbaron," who wrote, "I guess calculators and spread sheets can’t figure it out" in the third comment of an Aug. 21 Willis item, "The Forwards," can’t resist the temptation to be dicks when responding to items written by contributors to ON?
Call me dim — you wouldn’t be the first or even the 100th — but I’ve never been able to figure out what it is about the internet that brings out the lout in people, including myself. Is it anonymity?
In this case, the remark by "Oilbaron" ignited a 50-comment string (almost half of the 110 comments posted) that amounted to little more than posturing and dick-measuring.
After "Oilbaron" got KTFO by Willis, the comments read like an internet version of "na-na-na-na-na, takes one to know one" kind of exchange you’d expect down by the bike racks at recess by guys who don’t know the thumb stays on the outside of the fingers when making a fist.
What a waste of everybody’s time.
— Having given it as much (and likely more) ink than it deserves, I can’t say with certainty where the Oilers are in their search for somebody to replace Rod Phillips as their radio play-by-play man.
Every time I think I’ve got the candidates narrowed down, I hear another name or receive another text from a radio guy telling me he’s in the mix. The Oilers, of course, aren’t saying anything to provide a hint.
— How dense am I? I was in Victoria with my wife on the weekend. Up ahead, I see a huge building with Save-On Foods on it. I say to my better (and smarter) half: "Geez, that’s the biggest Save-On Foods I’ve ever seen." It was the Save-On Foods Memorial Arena, the new 7,000-seat rink in town. Derrrr.
— Two years for Sam Gagner or one, then wait-and-see?
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.