Sheldon Souray got what he deserved when Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini declared Monday the often-injured and perpetually unhappy defenceman wouldn’t be welcome at training camp.
My two cents — what’s this, like five consecutive articles on the Souray saga? — but for what it’s worth, I say good for Tambellini and the Oilers as an organization after taking a gullet full of criticism and woe-is-me from a clearly frustrated Souray last April.
I’m not saying the decision to sit Souray out is necessarily the best way to get his fat contract gone, which is what both sides of this increasingly messy split want, but it’s not like Tambellini didn’t try to unload him since last season ended.
With no takers, even at a cut-rate on waivers, and the prospect of having Souray around to poison the dressing room — you’re not really buying that 11th-hour sweet talk Souray offered up Monday, are you? — Tambellini did what he had to do.
If ever there was a staged and contrived bit of spin on the part of a player, Souray delivered it Monday in spades with the goody two-shoes load of self-serving BS he delivered to TSN.
"I’m here in camp, and I’m here to do the best that I can and I want to keep things positive," Souray said, polishing a big apple for Tambellini sixth months after spitting in his eye.
"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."
My take is this: all the sweet nothings Souray whispered were delivered knowing full well the Oilers weren’t going to let him come to camp. If what I’ve heard is to be believed, Tambellini and the Oilers contacted agent Paul Theofanus late last week and delivered the news.
Theofanus said he wanted something in writing. In the interim, this "I’m ready for camp" waltz was concocted and served up as sort of a pre-emptive strike. A piss-poor and obvious one, but an attempt nonetheless.
HERE WE ARE
I wanted to ask Souray about the timeline of communications with the Oilers and Monday’s change of heart today at Kinsmen Arenas, but when I approached him in the parking lot after a scrum with reporters — I was late to the party and missed it — he told me he didn’t have much more to say. "I’ve got nothing for you," he shrugged.
So, here we are. Souray won’t be attending camp and Tambellini will continue to try to deliver the ticket out of town that he’s wanted for the better part of 18 months now.
As Lowetide said in his timely item — before Tambellini dug in and at long last fired back at Souray — the decision to sit Souray out isn’t going to make it any easier to get rid of him, but any other call on his part would have gutted him as a GM.
That couldn’t be allowed to happen.
TEAM 1260’S NEW LINE-UP
As you just heard on TEAM 1260, there’s significant programming changes coming to your afternoon sports line-up on the radio.
Effective Sept. 20, Bob Stauffer’s Oilers Lunch show is moving to a noon to 2 p.m. slot (after running 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) and the Jason Gregor Show will be expanded to four hours and will run 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
TEAM 1260 brand manager Ross MacLeod announced the changes with Gregor and Stauffer this afternoon at 2:45 p.m.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.