SHELDON SOURAY: HE JUST DOESN’T GET IT

Sheldon Souray obviously isn’t of the mind to just shut up and play (or sit out with a broken hand), and that’s his right, even if there are times when speaking his mind isn’t very smart.

Souray, who talked his way out of the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers by calling out team management at the end of last season because he was frustrated his trade demands hadn’t been met, has taken to flapping his gums again, this time to Tim Leone of the Patriot-News.

After busting his right hand — the same fragile paw that broke in an ill-advised fight with Jarome Iginla last season and ended any hope the Oilers could trade him — on the jar of minor league ruffian Matt Clackson of Adirondack a week ago, Souray got to talking again.

Having bitched himself out of training camp with the Oilers and on loan to the Hershey Bears, Souray couldn’t help himself when asked how he felt about criticism back in Edmonton that he’d tested his glass mitt against Clackson, sustaining an injury that won’t help move him along.

His days as an Oiler obviously done, but with those big pay cheques from Daryl Katz still coming, Souray didn’t hold back. What a surprise.

WHAT HE SAID

Here’s an excerpt, with quotes, from Leone’s piece in the Patriot News.

"I’m used to the criticism,” Souray said. "You can’t please everyone once people get an opinion. I think Edmonton’s done a pretty good job, the organization’s done a good job, of trying to form an opinion of my character and my personality.

"Once people jump on that and make an assumption for themselves, it’s hard to do anything right. We’ve seen it before. Not just my situation. Players, they get a certain reputation and no matter what they do it just doesn’t seem like it’s enough."

Souray, who sustained compression fractures in the hand and should be out just weeks rather than months, kept it coming.

"Seven or eight months ago, when they were thinking I was one of the most important parts of the (Edmonton) team, to three or four months ago, after I had called the organization out on a couple of things, it’s led me to here," Souray said. "You’re exactly right. It’s one of those situations where, I think, now you’ve just got to go kill them with success.

"If you come down here and you act like you’re not committed or you act like you shouldn’t be here, that’s going to show on the ice. That’s one thing I wanted to come here and make sure these guys knew is that I’m in it with them. We’re all in the same boat. We’re all here to try to make the NHL. I didn’t want anything less to show on the ice."

So, Edmonton’s done a good job of smearing Souray’s good name and his impeccable character? I thought Souray accomplished that largely on his own when frustration got the better of him last spring.

And, "Kill them with success?" Like the Oilers wouldn’t like to see Souray healthy and productive in Hershey so they could get more than a box of tape, anything, for him in a trade and turn this page? Yes, what a killer that turn of events would be.

NO SALE

Apparently, Souray is so bitter over the predicament he helped orchestrate that he can’t help but make a bad situation worse by coming off as a self-serving whiner.

Not that it matters where the Oilers or GM Steve Tambellini are concerned because he’s napalmed that bridge into smouldering ashes, but he’s doing nothing but diminishing his already marginal trade value with his me-first narrative.

Souray, even at age 34 and broken down as he is on the downside of his career, is still an effective player when healthy. Big shot. Tough as hell. Physical. He’s a player who eventually might be the right fit for the right team, even with his bloated contract.

But, like his dubious claim to reporters in Edmonton about wanting to come to training camp — days after Souray and his agent had been told he would not be welcome — this latest rendition of Poor, Pitiful Me isn’t going to cause GMs who might be contemplating taking a chance on him to lean his way. More bitterness won’t get him out from under the thumb of an organization he clearly has no respect for.

He just doesn’t get it.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • I doubt I will be the only person who wishes that Sheldon was on this team playing like he did his first year in an Oiler sweater. We need help on the D front and he’s better than 3-4 of our current starters. Such a shame…

      • Dan the Man

        Meant to say Second Season when he had 23 goals and 53 points.

        My point was I bet I’m not the only person who wished he was at that form, playing hard, and playing because he loves to play. Not bitching up a storm and breaking hands, etc.

        This team could use a Top Pairing D-man that plays with an attitude. Just wish it was attitude toward the opposing team and not towards management.

  • Ender

    You think with an ego like sourays he would walk away from the contract and go play for another team. It’s a matter of time before he becomes more negative and tries to get more attention. Keep him in the minors for the remaining two years and set an example, put his career to an end. No matter what in the end he will bash Edmonton.

  • magisterrex

    I guess there’s always a GM out there desperate enough to take a chance on a headcase (see Avery:New York), but everytime Sheldon opens his mouth the list grows shorter.

  • You’d think the fact that all 30 NHL teams passed on him when he went through waivers, what 3 times now(?), might help him clue in that perhaps it wasn’t 1000000% the Oilers fault that he’s not in the NHL right now. Reputation indeed.

    Either way I’m sure he’s going to be great for the Hershey Bears for the next 3 seasons.

  • Ryan14

    I really didn’t think what he said was that bad.

    Well, actually, I stopped caring about what he has to say. Along with ST, they both made assers of themselves. He doesn’t play for us, I don’t pay him the evil midget does, and he’s never gonna make us any value in a trade. I’d much prefer if Reuben stopped beating a dead horse (Souray is the horse) and just forget about him. Let’s focus on our team not some player that happens to be paid by the midget.

    • Ender

      I don’t spend a lot of time lamenting the parting of the ways with Souray, but his “Kill them with success” comment stuck with me.

      The way he phrased it, it sounds like Souray seems to be suggesting that the Oilers want to see him fail and languish in the minors rather than succeed. Why would his success kill them? It wouldn’t be that difficult to say, “I know I’ve got critics, but the only way I can prove them wrong and help myself at the same time is to do what I do and hope that’s enough . . .”
      Still, point taken on the dead horse remark.

      If you’re looking for something on the guys here and now, look under the news tab on the site — there’s a CP story I did on Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi today. There’s also a story on fan traditions in Edmonton coming out on NHL.com Tuesday.

      • well my take on the “kill them with success”. If hes addressing me, a fan critic… I paid my share of his wages for the right to be entertained by him… I now pay my portion of his wages to have him nowhere near here and to be perfectly frank, Im more content with the second position than the first.

        Further to his success I cant imagine any possible scenario involving his play that would even register on my give a f**k meter let alone kill me or my very well considered opinion of him.

        Honestly I am more entertained by his incessant need to slam his gucci in his yap than I was watching him play.

  • So what does HE think is the reason he hasn’t been traded? ..wasn’t picked up on waivers in summer? Someone should ask him that.

    Not doing himself any favours, that is what is so funny, and he doesn’t seem to realize he has no leverage…Hey Souray, Katz is spending over 4M on you to play in AHL, it’s obvious he is committed to accepting that “loss”, even if what you said in April is true, it’s over pal, shut your mouth for your own sake.

  • It really doesnt sound that bad to me. It actually sounds like he’s saying the right things. He basicly said that he feels like there’s nothing he can do to change Edmonton’s mind but he’s just gonna be a pro and do his best to show that he wants to be in the NHL again.

    I was expecting something much worse than that.

    • That’s more or less what I read, too. I think some of these comments actually prove his point. His reputation is smeared here regardless of what he does (even if it was his fault for things getting this out of hand in the 1st place).

    • Ender

      I’m not saying this latest bit was a slagfest aimed at the Oilers, but it was just as self-serving as his positive sounding claim he wanted to be a good pro and come to training camp when he already knew that wasn’t happening.

      Reps that a player is a dressing room lawyer, a me-guy or just an all-around pain in the ass get around fast and Souray has become one of those guys.

      An elite player with a problem tag is one thing — if he’s still producing big time, some GMs look the other way. If it’s a borderline guy, which Souray is now, GMs often say, “No thanks” because the return isn’t worth the headache.

  • I dunno… the way I see it, he realizes he’s likely down there for the year and he really doesn’t have much to lose by lashing out, at least THIS time. I think its fair comment to suggest his reputation has taken even more of a beating in Edmonton than it “theoretically” deserved. That’s not to say he hasn’t brought most of it on himself, but the Oil Change documentary made sure to single him out, as have some other video features (both in-game and on Sportsnet) as a “poison” inside the room. Make no mistake, things got personal the moment Sheldon initially opened his mouth.

    Fact of the matter is, he’s nowhere near as “poisonous” inside an NHL dressing room as has been made out to seem (not disputing he was a problem in their room, specifically). He’s a known commodity, and at his age, I think there’s some teams willing to look past his “attitude” (even this latest saga), just not his contract or injury history.

    Let this story lay in the coma it deserves for the next 7 or 8 months before we ~HAVE~ to hear “where Souray’s gonna end up” again.

    Just my $0.02.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      he will hang onto that contract until the bitter end. mr.souray hasn’t been great with his money (apparently).

      no way he walks away from 4 mil to maybe make 1mil..

    • The money quote form that article:

      “My injuries were becoming a problem with them,” Souray said. “They wanted me to be healed before they made any decisions. That was a funny thing, because I’ve played my whole career with injuries. I played a month with a broken wrist, I played in the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder. I don’t think my injuries were ever anything that hindered my performance. I dealt with them and we moved on.

  • bigguy13

    @jake

    I don’t see why Souray would walk out on his contract. He’s making some cool money and is still trying to make the NHL again. Leaving his current contract would be a final nail in his career’s coffin.

  • bigguy13

    Robin,

    I just don’t see how this is real relevant news anymore. You must be as sick as writing about this donkey as we are reading about him. In my opinion he’s not an oilers news piece till he gets traded. I’m sorry but I’m personally sick of hearing about him. I’m sure he’s loving the press he gets when he runs his mouth (which I don’t think he really did hear anyways).

    The only person that cares about him is Eklund and his dim witted followers!

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      So you don’t like reading about him. Don’t read then. The title of the article made it CLEAR it was about Souray. No one made you read it.

      What is with all the people on here lately who complain about an article. Don’t read it. If you disagree with someone, fine. But to think you can tell the writers what to write is asinine. If you have something better, start your own blog. I’m sure people will line up to read it.

      This is the most informed Oiler blog out there. It isn’t close. I’m surprised they don’t ban more whiny posters who complain just for the sake of it.

      News flash…No one makes you click on the article. You do. Read it and if you disagree with a point, fine. But please STOP whining people. Or maybe better…NATION start blocking whiny posters. No one wants to read that…

      ***back to your day…Sorry for the rant***

    • True enough, and he isn’t playing in the organization where there would be constant reminders of his situation.

      That said, he is human, and if he breaks psychologically, you never know if he gets to a point where he’s had enough. He and Marty’s pizza place must bring in some pretty good dough (pun intended).

    • Banger

      Not to mention you dont have to pay escrow when you are in the minors. With Souray’s contract that is a good chunk of change he wouldnt get in the NHL. Sure he would rather be in the NHL but that extra cash makes is easier to “ride the bus” down there.

      @Brownlee

      My initial thought was i agree with you, but once i finished reading my mind had changed. Im not sure what the big deal is here. Nothing Souray said surprised me. Of course he is going to be pissed about what has happened. I agree that he looks like he is making all about him self. But if he sugar coated his answers and said all the right things eveyone would be ripping on him, and wanting him to just speak his mind. The guy is speaking his mind, i respect that even though i dont agree with what he is saying.

      As for his trade value. What has he done to the chances of getting him traded? Moved that percentage from 3% to 1%. Seriously he isnt going anywhere so lets quit using the trade value argument because it isnt valid anymore.

  • Crackenbury

    I’m weighing in a little late, but I also didn’t find much wrong with what he said to some local media where he is now playing. I can’t see how Oiler brass or anyone else around the league would take much offense to what was said. His dim hope of returning to the NHL won’t be affected one way or another with his latest comments.

  • bigguy13

    Given how this has worked out, I can see why the new organizational philosophy has the Oil forsaking the free agent market. They’re going to pay this dude nine million bucks to play in the AHL. Yikes.