Despite another loss, there is some good news for Oilers fans. And no, I’m not referring to the fact that the team is one step closer to a high draft pick.
According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, the New York Rangers are scouting Sheldon Souray, and Glen Sather has been to Hershey to watch him play.
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson asked Steve Tambellini about the Souray situation, and Tambellini seemed perfectly willing to place the defenceman on re-entry waivers, if a team ever expressed interest:
“I would like to get an asset for Sheldon. If that’s not a player or draft pick, then the asset is the money we would be saving — half of what he’s owed.”
If Tambellini is willing to place Souray on re-entry waivers, one has to think he would be claimed. It’s become fashionable to deride the defenceman since his outburst against the Oilers last year, but the fact is that when he’s healthy he’s a pretty good player: big, tough, with a heavy slap-shot and an effective game in his own end.
On re-entry waivers, Souray would only represent a cap hit of $2.7 million. That’s Steve Staios money, and pretty darn cheap for a top-four defenceman. I’m betting Souray is placed on re-entry waivers, and that somebody claims him, finally ending this bizarre saga.
I have my doubts it will be the Rangers, though. For teams like Carolina and Atlanta, fighting for the last few spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs, doesn’t it make sense to deny the Rangers that player? If I’m Rick Dudley or Jim Rutherford, I’d argue it does.