Buying Out Souray

Sheldon Souray cleared re-entry waivers earlier today, meaning that none of the NHL’s 29 teams felt he was worth the remainder of $2.25 million for this season and the entirety of that figure for 2011-12. What happens next is ultimately known only to the Oilers brain-trust, but a buyout seems like a decent possibility.

I have to admit that I was surprised to see Souray slip through the cracks without a single team offering to take him. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was a bona fide top-four defenceman, and he has worn a letter for more than one NHL franchise. His skill-set was not complete; he has never been a particularly swift skater but he’s a big body with a nasty edge and a big shot (I can’t remember who called him a “cycle buster” but I have always felt the phrase matched the player).

I imagine Souray was surprised too, probably more so. There’s never been any evidence to suggest he suffers from a lack of self-confidence, and this must have been a heavy blow.

I wonder how much of the reluctance to claim Souray originated from an actual loss of ability, and how much stemmed from his comments on Steve Tambellini. I don’t think there is a general manager in the game eager to add a player so willing to sound off on troubles in the front office. The reason doesn’t actually matter, though: either way, the result is that nobody is willing to take Souray on for $500,000 less than Jim Vandermeer makes this season.

Barring the unlikely possibility that the Oilers can sweet-talk another team into taking Souray this summer for a different bad contract, that would seem to leave a buyout as the most likely option. The Oilers would have to pay two-thirds of the dollars remaining on his deal; $3,000,000 altogether over the next two seasons. According to Cap Geek, that would leave the team with a cap hit of $2.4 million for next season and $1.5 million in 2012-13.

2012-13 is an interesting year for the Oilers, cap-wise. Barring a trade or two, Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Sam Gagner, Gilbert Brule, Linus Omark and Devan Dubnyk will all see their deals expire that season. The wonder trio and Nikolai Khabibulin have their contracts end the following season.

The cap hit for next season is almost irrelevant for a team in the position the Oilers are. 2012-13 is a different matter, but I suspect the Oilers will chance it anyway. They must want this to end.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    This has been an embarrassment for all involved right from the start. Sheldon got what some felt he deserved and the Oilers are stained for quiting on one of their own.

    What remains is, will Katz pay another 1.5 million on top of the buyout option so the Oilers can bury that 2 yr cap hit in the AHL. If the Oilers do choose the buyout option, some team will cough up a one yr 1-1.5 million dollar deal and give Souray a second chance in the fall.

  • Clyde Frog

    You know, I say play him.

    With Okolohma trying for a playoff spot they could use extra help, with the Oil being almost last place we could use it too.

    Give him the last bit of the season to play and prove he can still crush the puck and manhandle peeps in the big show. At worst you can still buy him out in the off season, at
    best you can trade his one year for something.

    Not sure how badly he can mess with the dressing room right now, especially after 29 teams said no thanks to him twice, once for free and the other for 1/2 off!

  • How many other players will want to come here if faced with same handling as Souray has been put thru on a No Trade contract or otherwise ? Probably none . If indeed they had the opportunity to rid themselves of Souray for Hartnell and choose not to , then management made a huge mistake . They overpaid and over evaluated his worth and now are paying dearly for it . Not like management hasn’t overpaid and overevaluated others ? Their handling of Souray only adds to the mistakes they continue to make and driving his worth down . Being confrontational on a grievance with an employee especially in a union setting often turns ugly – and this one has sure done that . Management in retrospect should have diffused this confrontational approach long ago , for the longer it continues the worse it gets for all concerned .

    The longer it continues the less credible management looks , and that ultimately is the bottom line here .

  • Hemmertime

    Me and a buddy were talking and couldnt figure it out:

    Who was the last Oilers player to retire (by their own choice) while playing for our team? The only one to come to mind for me was Ulanov but playing in Russia kind of signifies he didnt want to but I dont remember.

    Maybe if we showed some loyalty to any of our players free agents would come here. No way if I am 33 yrs old Im signing for a team that hasnt had anyone retire for them in over a decade, hell, maybe two

      • Hemmertime

        Ya, thats a good point. Im thinking of Det tho, they’ve flat out stated they aren’t forcing Draper into retirement. They also did the same with Maltby. They said the players have earned the right to decide themselves when they’re done. This only works to a point (some people would never retire *cough*Chelios*cough*) but I guarantee it plays a part in decisions of older FA’s

    • ubermiguel

      Interesting point. A few guys have come here in the twilight of their careers and retired afterwards: Kevin Lowe, Bill Ranford, Adam Oates.

      I’m ok with marginal guys not retiring here. There have been few players on the roster lately that can play well right until retirement (e.g.: Sakic, Yzerman). Might as well get some value from them by trading them (e.g. Staois).

    • BarryS

      Or maybe if some of those players took a “home town” discount? Come to money, players take the money, which they should. It is undeniable since Gretz money has been the issue, Oilers couldn’t pay the going rate and so lost everybody.

      Team loyalty has never actually existed, first the players were owned by teams and couldn’t leave even if they wanted to, then the players became free agents and belonged to themselves, or their agents, depending on your point of view, and money talked loudest. Even all these no movements and no trade, takes control from the teams, players stay in cities they are comfortable in, until they’re not.

      • positivebrontefan

        I would say that Hemsky when he signed last took somewhat of a hometown discount. Looking back at the last few seasons it doesn’t seem as much now but at the time he was our up and coming star player and had his injuries not played such a big part he would still be playing at a discounted rate considering his point per game scoring rate.
        I think Hemsky has been very loyal, all he has ever asked for was a shooter to put his passes in the back of the net. He has that now and i bet he sticks around if given the choice.

  • Clyde Frog


    I see what you did there 0_o! But you have a point, Souray was on waivers at the beginning and could be had for 0 prospects or picks but full salary. Now Souray just cleared the same situation except this time his salary was only 50%!

    Yeah that just doesn’t have the same sexy ring to it.

    And to the other points, players want to play for winning teams that compete every year. You want to retire a certain players jersey? Win when their career is ending, its that simple. Nothing else to it…

  • Dan the Man

    Why not just play him. He would play his ass off so he can prove he is an asset. We really don’t have anything to loose! The guys career is dead if souray doesn’t do something nobody wants him.

    • Dan the Man

      Would you really want this disgruntled player around the future of your organization?

      ~There is absolutley no possibility of anything bad happening there.~

    • VMR

      By all accounts if we play him were pretty much tanking since he’s so slow he’s barely AHL caliber. I guess if we want the best shot at that #1 pick we can put him out there with Strudwick and watch the slowest players in the league blow by both of them. 🙂

      Of course he might not even help with that since he’ll probably end up shattering his hand/arm/elbow/knee/skull with the first shot he takes.

  • Hemmertime

    Make him play in Hershey again, which, by some accounts, he is not overly enthused about. He may then ask for mutual termination of his contract, eliminating cap hit and real dollar cost.

    My guess is he must have surely thought he would have some sort of path back to the NHL by now, which is not happening.

    It is baffling indeed he hasn’t been picked up, how much damage could his mouth do in a locker room for couple of months and 1 more season? His play must be that bad one would guess.

  • Ender

    After reading everyone’s take here, I am a bit surprised with the naivety displayed by a few people.

    As several people have stated, Souray didn’t go the media as a Crusader for Truth, Justice, and Light. He wasn’t trying to make it better for the other Oilers in the locker room by bringing the heinous evils of the Tambellini Establishment to account. If that was his motivation, he had other channels beyond Tambellini that he pointedly ignored.

    Souray was looking out for Number One. He saw a chance to try and fling some mud and possibly gain an advantage for himself, and in so doing screwed up everything for everyone. Bad on him.

    If his complaint was legit and people were being forced back too soon, he should have (quietly) gone to the NHLPA. If his complaint was a big bag of dog$#!+, he should have (quietly) awaited a trade – for as long as it took – and kept working hard every night for his measely $4.5M per season. Nothing excuses his making an ass of himself and the Oilers by going to the MSM with the load of crap that he did.

    To those who insist that Souray would have made the Oilers better in any way this season, I simply shake my head in wonder. This isn’t all about politics. If Souray was tearing up the AHL and still being ignored, then you could try to make that case. He’s also a flat-out bad hockey player now. I know it’s tough to accept, but look at his numbers. He’s not being snubbed just because he offended a GM that certain other GM’s are indifferent to or don’t even like. He’s being ignored because he’s ineffective at the AHL level. He’s old. He’s made of glass. He’s slow and one-dimensional. To those who are uppity about the way we are handling the Ghost-of-Souray-Past, try and understand that this isn’t the same guy anymore. That Souray is gone, and he’s never coming back.

    The statement that Souray would have won more games for us this year is beyond controversial. Would we have won any extra games if Belle had been here all season? If your answer is no, take a hard look at Belle’s numbers this year and then Souray’s and tell me why Souray is such a difference-maker.

    I’m really surprised that the Oilers brought Souray through re-entry. Not surprised there were no takers, just surprised that the Oilers were willing to burn cap-space on him. In light of that, I now concede it’s quite possible they may be willing to buy him out. I hope they don’t, though.

    Even though the Oilers can live without the cap-space his departure brings, it burns me to think that Souray skates away from this with free money from the Oil and another chance to skate in a try-out with another team next fall for a new contract on top. It would be league minimum if he gets anything at all, but it’s the principle. The Oilers don’t have to do that.

    The Oil can pay the $3M and walk away, letting Souray do his own thing. Or they can gamble, pay him the $4.5M to do another stint in the A, and wait for him to offer to break the deal. He fails to report, the contract is voided, the Oilers pay nothing further, and Souray is a free agent. The advantages to the second plan are obvious, not the least of which is that even if he reports for the second year (which I can’t see – Souray knows the clock on his career has pretty much run out already) it still doesn’t impact the Oiler’s salary cap.

    Souray did this to himself, and hurt the team in the process. If there’s anyone left out there who thinks this team owes Souray a damn thing or thinks that Souray has some positive potential benefit left to the Oilers in any fashion, you need to catch up with the present.

    • book¡e

      Ender – I agree. I think the critics who are attacking Lowe for signing him are justified, but some people live in a dream world thinking that Souray was tradable at some point since he first requested a trade.

        • Ender

          Unfounded. Keven Karius from Global says he was told it’s true. He’s not an idiot, so you have to put some weight there, but everyone else involved steadfastly denies the story. There are other factors such as whether it would have been in character with Philly management to offer something like that; on the whole, there’s some smoke but no one can definitely say when or even if this actually happened.

        • book¡e

          Lots of rumours go around, but the guy can’t even get picked up on re-entry. It was a bad contract and its pretty clear that teams are not interested. I don’t think they were interested at twice the price a year and a half ago.

          • I know, thats precisely it. But the statement was made that it wasnt really possible to trade him when he was in his prime here. I just asked about that because if that trade was on the table then that would suggest he was tradable. That is all.

    • Ender, you are one of the smartest posters here, but as naive as I’m sure you think I am, I can’t help but believe you are thinking with your heart on this issue. The guy dragged the Oil through the mud and the first response is to go on the defensive.

      I get it. But without any evidence one way or the other you are completely willing to dismiss his accusations. Whatever his reasons for going public, selfish or otherwise, they should have been checked thoroughly. They weren’t.

      You are damn right about one thing though, there is nothing positive that can be salvaged from this mess.

      • Ender

        The respect goes both ways; I’ve seen you as a guy who gets it an awful lot over the years, and I certainly wouldn’t change my mind over something like this.

        I take it from the tone of a couple of your comments that you are a union employee. I’ve worked in union shops quite a bit as well over the past 20 years, but always as management. That single difference right there could well be coloring the viewpoint from which we see things.

        It’s easy to be right when we don’t have all the facts. The only way we can really know for sure why people did what they did is if we were them. Hindsight is 20-20, and it’s pretty clear today that choosing just about any other course of action would have been better for both Souray and the Oilers. Done is done; all we can do now is figure out how best to scrape this mess off of our shoes and move forward.

      • I think there is evidence. That is, evidence that Big Sexy has not been entirely truthful with the media before when it suits his purposes.

        If the NHLPA wanted to investigate it could have. It isn’t like the allegations weren’t made very publically so they could be swept under the rug.

        The team thought it was bull&*%t and as a result didn’t investigate. If the NHLPA investigated and the team didn’t then I might be more suspicious. If Souray really believed this then he could have pushed for an investigation by the NHLPA or filed a grievance. The fact that he didn’t do so speaks volumes to me.

        • The NHLPA was a leaderless and toothless organization at the time. By all accounts it was a joke after Goodenow (sp?) left until Fehr took over recently.

          It shouldnt have been the team investigating the issue either. The honor system isnt exactly the most trustworthy plan.

          • Just getting this straight: Even though the NHLPA didn’t investigate Souray’s claims, it’s because of what they were like politically at the time?

            I think you’re working really hard to make reality suit your theory here… and the only reason you can is because we don’t have all the facts.

            IF we are to make judgment from fact (rare in this situation) then we know for sure:

            1.Souray did not go to any organization to follow through with his claims, nor did he mention this serious allegation again. Why wouldn’t he bypass “the honor system” and file a complaint?

            2. The Oilers did not follow up on Souray’s claims, but they did publicly denounce them as “demonstrably untrue”.

            3. Staff and team members admitted to a “locker room problem” last season. We don’t know who the problem was, as we moved alot of vets last summer.

            4. Souray was kept away from all of our roster in both Edmonton and OKC at great cost to the Oilers.

            If I accuse you of murder, Archaeologuy, but I don’t follow through and go to any authorities, and I never speak of it again, what would most people say of my claims?

          • If you accuse me of murder and I exile you and never speak of the issue again, am I innocent because you then decided that it was easier to play by my rules than stand up against me? No, at least I hope not. Or do I? Wait…did I murder a hooker or someone with a soul?

          • Oh that’s funny. I nearly spat out my gum!

            I see your point, but the guy publicly threw them under the bus, yet didn’t ever follow up on his claims. As far as the team goes, they have to submit to whatever investigation the league files, IF THERE IS A COMPLAINT FILED.

            The organization’s decision to bury Souray happened after Souray’s decision to bury them. Fact.

            Let’s keep in mind that this is the same Sheldon Souray who didn’t attend his end-of-season interview with Tambellini yet then went public about never hearing from them. Is it completely impossible in your mind that we have a “me-first” selfish millionaire on our hands? Why is that harder for you to believe than your conspiracy theory?

            I think our losing record and difficulty enticing big talent to a cold, losing market are both affecting how we view a situation where nobody is totally right or wrong.

          • Totally possible that it is all a bunch of lies perpetuated by a selfish millionaire. No one seems intent on finding out. Not the media, not the NHLPA, and certainly not the team in question. For that matter even the player with the complaints has obviously failed to mention it again.

            So either it didnt happen, or it seems better for all parties to forget that it ever did. Doesnt mean it shouldnt be looked at by someone. I would love to see the evidence that it was “demonstrably untrue” as described by Tambellini. No one has demonstrated its untruth to me.

          • I guess then if it isn’t the team that is going to investigate, and it isn’t the NHL, who was supposed to have looked into it? Is it the team or the NHL’s fault that the NHLPA was toothless?

            If Souray had really thought it was a concern then he had the option to champion the cause. He didn’t do anything other than spout off in an interview that had ulterior motives and that, in conjuction with his lack of truthfulness previously is why I think his complaints were hogwash in this case.

  • Clyde Frog

    He means that his salary /cap hit for this year on anyone that would have picked him up would have been negligible and next year at half his actual cost.

    • Ender

      If he accepts the $4.M and does another season in the AHL, it’ll be the last money he ever sees from professional hockey. Unless he’s really set on playing for the Horse Lake Thunder. I think he’d try for extended career rather than getting the one last big payday before fading into the annals of obscurity.

      • Hemmercules

        I see your point but I just can’t fathom that any player would just walk away from that kind of money. What’s stopping him from working his ass off in hershey and trying to garner some interest next season?? Like you said earlier, he’s not looking at another big contract from another team next season anyway if they buy him out. Tough choice, give up 4 mil and play in the Nhl for 2 or 3 more seasons at league minimum or keep the 4 mil and play your hardest and hopefully find a new team for league minimum in 2012-2013.

        • Ender

          I’ll give you that the choice for Souray isn’t a slam dunk given that he’s no longer commanding any kind of respectable salary numbers from any team in the league. I look at the type of person Souray is when trying to decide what he’d do. I think his pride forces him to try to play in the Show and go out on his own terms.

          As for impressing teams from the AHL next season, you don’t think he was trying to do that this year? What makes you think that scouts are going to be set on changing their minds when he’s another year slower?

          • Hemmercules

            I never said that playing hard in the AHL next season to try garner some interest was the best choice for him, just that he might take that avenue given that there are 4.5 million bucks on the table and the possibility of a team taking him on as a “reclamation project” is quite slim. I don’t think another season in the AHL would work for him either but my opinion is that he would never walk from that money. That is if they do decide to put him in the minors again,
            I honestly see a buy out this summer to tell you the truth, I think the oilers have had enough of this headache.

      • Which is why he WANTS a buyout like i said. Still. 4.5 next year he still has a shot to get back somewhere as a #6 for league min-1mil even after that. If he left his contract he wont make that 4.5 over the next 3 years (probably all he has left)

  • VMR

    This is David Staples take on Souray from the Cult of Hockey and I have to say it’s pretty bang on.

    “Souray has many backers, but from what I saw, he was one of the worst players on one of the worst teams in hockey after his concussions. He could no longer get off his big shot on the powerplay. He was a step slow in his own end, tentative, often out of position, slow to make reads. He was about as effective as Jason Strudwick.

    Strudwick, of course, is reported to be a solid leader, while Souray complained about management and his medical care, which poisoned the well.

    He’s not an NHLer, even at half the price of his ticket, other teams saw that, the final verdict is in.

    I liked this player a lot in 2008-09, but injry often ends this kind of d-man’s career in their early 30s. Really, the Oilers were lucky to have got one really good year out of Souray. HIs signing was always a massive gamble.”

  • I believe if Oilers buy him out, which appears likely , several teams will try him as reclamation project, and i believe for more than the minimum . He’s still better than a lot of other defenceman in league on teams now , but the price is still a question mark or stumbling block at half his salary . His recent injury troubles do not help trying to move him at present price . Is it worth trying to carry him further into next season on a Hershey format in hopes that some sort of positive return might still be possible down the road ?

  • Ender

    madjam wrote:

    several teams will try him as reclamation project, and i believe for more than the minimum . He’s still better than a lot of other defenceman in league on teams now

    Name one.

  • I’m seriously impressed that you guys spent all morning discussing Sourey. I’ve tossed the subject in the “glance over it but don’t care pile”. Either someone was going to try him at half or we buy him out in the summer. No one took option #1 so we move to option #2, done deal.

    Now will someone please write a new article so we have something more exciting to talk about.

    • Crash

      I said this exact same thing in an article a few weeks back and had a back and forth with Ender at the time.

      Now that the contract will be down to one season left the Oilers will buy Souray out so that the cap hit is only spread out over 2 more seasons. Yes option #1 was the re-entry waivers which has failed, and you are bang on that option #2 is the buyout.

      Katz doesn’t want to cut Souray cheque’s adding up to another 4.5mil again next season and the Oilers want this soap opera over with.

      As you said, done deal.

  • VMR

    At 34 he is likely just going to take his paychecks for th next year and call it a day. Getting bought out would be best result for everyone as he gets paid and gets to hang up the skates and blame the Oilers for his demise and the Oilers save a little coin.

  • Dan the Man

    Aside from Souray’s declining ability and huge salary I’m sure a lot of teams aren’t crazy about his injury history. He’s missed well over 100 games due to injury in the past 4 seasons, I think that’s worse that Sami Salo.

  • Ender

    Can Souray agree to be assigned to the KHL?

    The KHL team and the Oil could each pay half of his 4.5 mill salary, the salary would not count against the cap, and Sheldon gets his salary in Russia pretty much tax free, effectively giving him a massive raise. Everyone wins.

  • Ender

    Here’s something that makes me scratch my head; why yesterday?

    Tambellini was public with the statement that he wouldn’t put Souray on re-entry unless someone out there expressed a firm interest first. Since no one picked Souray up, either Tambellini was lying or someone played nicky-nicky-nine-doors with the Oilers. I’m thinking the former is more likely, but then that begs the question “What is Tambellini’s game?

    If I wanted to get the best possible chance of attracting attention to a white flag I was waving, I’d probably put Souray on the waiver-wire when the highest-possible percentage of NHL team management was around to see it. So, I’d pick . . . a statutory holiday? Presidents Day in the US, various civic and provincial holidays here . . . it doesn’t make sense that Tambi would honestly think that was the best time to have people see that Souray was available.

    Now, the point is moot in the respect that Tambi probably knew as well as anyone that he could put Souray on waivers for entire weeks at a time and no one would take him. The real question, then, is what putting Souray on waivers yesterday was really all about. The timing of the whole thing . . . well, something smells. Despite appearances, I don’t really think yesterday was about moving Shelly.

    I have to say I can’t figure it out. As a shot in the dark, I might hazard that maybe this is a psychological shot at Souray to see if they really can get him to tear up that contract this summer. I know that is a pretty thin premise, but I can’t see why else Tambellini would say one thing a couple weeks ago and then do something else over the long weekend. It makes no sense.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      The Oilers are a moving target, the rules one day may not meet the needs of another day. This is just worst case scenario for Katz, he was on the hook for 9 million and Steve was unable to reduce that amount for him. 7.5 mill out and nothing in return hurts.

    • Crash

      IMO, there doesn’t really always have to be some sort of conspiracy or deep mind bending reason as to why something like this happens.

      In my estimation Tambellini was no doubt not going to put Souray on re-entry waivers until someone actually told him they would take him. But in this business like probably many other businesses you sometimes have to react to a change in situations.

      So IMO, with trading activity being off the charts this year, and a glut of d-men moving around, my guess is Tambellini thought that now may be prime time to make Souray available. Maybe someone who may have missed out on a deal or someone who may want a d-man would grab him. The whole timing of the move is solely because the trade deadline is less than a week away and some GM who may be looking at adding a d-man just might take a look.

      It makes perfect sense.

        • Ender

          I still don’t get why a holiday was the best day. Why not Thursday? Why not today? I don’t know if it makes a difference either way, but putting him up at a time when people like GM’s might be off travelling or spending time with their families doesn’t seem like the optimal plan to me.

          Yes, I’m sure every team has a flunky watching the waiver-wire at all times. Yes, I think Tambellini knows that. No, I still don’t understand why making things awkward by posting over a long-weekend facilitated the process in any way.

          • Crash

            I know you didn’t direct this at me..perhaps you don’t like that I disagree with you so much.

            But in answer to your query. It’s pretty much common knowledge that most teams aren’t exactly enamoured with the thought of picking up Souray. So putting him on re-entry waivers over the weekend gave all the teams extra time I believe to ponder picking him up instead of having to decide within 24 hours.

            It’s just simple logic. As far as the holiday thing goes, well it wasn’t a holiday everywhere and actually the NHL doesn’t take stat holidays off.

            The only two bad things that came of it are (1) No one claimed him and (2) because Souray was recalled it meant he was now part of the roster and as a result Taylor Chorney was not allowed to practice with the team.

          • Ender

            Nothing to do with you personally; I just respond to the most relevant comments.

            By the way, you’re right. It wasn’t a holiday for all the team offices; only 28 of them. It was business as usual for the Canucks and the Canadiens.

          • Crash

            Nice response, I guess I’m a dummy huh?…fact is the GM’s work the whole season and their flunkies as you put it work during the season on all matters related to hockey. It doesn’t matter what day it is. So I would hazard a guess that it was business as usual for the people who make the hockey decisions in all 30 cities.

          • Crackenbury

            He was put on 48 hour recall waivers on Saturday and had until yesterday to be recalled. There is no conspiracy. Tambellini took a gamble on the hot market for defenceman. Every team and every GM knew he was available. Do you hear anyone around the league crying they weren’t aware he was available? Why are you making up somehting out of absolutley nothing?

            When are people going to realize, NOBODY WANTS HIM! You can’t give him away for a 50% discount.

          • Ender

            Oh I get that nobody wants him. I’ve been all over that for awhile now. I think Tambellini gets that nobody wants him. Heck, by now, I think even Souray must be starting to understand that nobody wants him.

            I’m not playing the angle that I think if Tambi had picked a different day, Souray would be suiting up in the NHL tonight. I’m simply saying, if I really didn’t care if Souray moved and had a different reason for putting him up, whatever that reason might be, I think I’d pick the day Tambellini did. That’s all.

            Every team did know he was available. I bet Tambellini sent every GM in the league an e-mail with a little red exclamation point attached. And if anyone were even remotely interested, well it makes headline news in Edmonton. So why would Tambellini go public and state, on the record,

            “Until I get a call from a team saying they’re interested in Sheldon, I won’t be putting him on re-entry (waivers)”
            Edmonton Journal, February 4, 2011

            What was the point in saying that? The gameplan changed that much in two weeks? Forgive me for thinking something else has to be going on. The only other explanations involve a rival GM playing with the Oilers or Tambellini being impossibly stupid. I’d very much like to believe both of those to be wrong.

          • Crackenbury

            You must have noticed the trades that occurred on the Thursday and Friday before Souray was put on recall waivers. Some real eyeopeners that involved puck-moving defencemen. Tambellini tried jumping on the current market desire for this type of player. What did it hurt to try? His comments made 2 weeks ago refelcetd the market at the time, things change, you adapt to the changes. Seems pretty straight-forward to me.

    • Chris.

      I have to say I can’t figure it out. As a shot in the dark, I might hazard that maybe this is a psychological shot at Souray to see if they really can get him to tear up that contract this summer.

      Ahhhh… There it is: a quick glimpse into the working mind of a manager.

      *puts down long poking stick and retreats to the safety of a large, comfortable, union mandated coffee room*

    • Maggie the Monkey

      I doubt you’ll stumble across my post, but here’s a possible explanation about the timing. Jim Matheson wrote:

      “As expected, Taylor Chorney was back in the lineup after being assigned in a paper transaction to the Oilers’ Oklahoma City Barons AHL affiliate. The defenceman flew to St. Paul on Monday, with Sheldon Souray off the Oilers’ 23-man roster and waived back to the AHL’s Hershey Bears.”

      The 48 hour period when Souray was on waivers was the last such gap before the trade deadline, and the team didn’t want to have to go through a game without a defenceman needlessly.

      Mystery solved?

  • Clyde Frog

    There is another angle here as well though.

    Souray and his agent, I imagine they have been given the green light to try and attract teams on their own terms.

    Could this move be a result of Souray requesting it, thinking he had set up a deal? If ST was not going to make the move until he was 100% sure maybe he was pressured on the other side?

    It could also just be every deal he had tried to set up had fallen through so he was trying to call someones bluff.

    Or lastly could it he have pulled him up so we could trade bad contracts?

    So many different things could be happening here, I guess only time will tell… But I would like to throw out there that we are only seeing 3% of what is going on here and the other 97% is happening on conference calls way above my pay grade.

  • smiliegirl15

    Isn’t there a longer waiver period over a weekend?

    I guess Tambellini thought with all the movement on Friday it might carry over, seeing as the deadline is coming fast.

    I don’t have much faith in Tambellini any more. I love Black Dog’s latest post – hilarious!

  • Ender

    As a friend of the family…as much as I love the oil, the reasoning for the outburst last summer was not “out of the blue”…there’s a lot that goes on the media doesn’t get ahold of and thus doesn’t make it to the fans…doesn’t make what he said right but…easier to understand…I wouldn’t wanna play for tambo either after last year.

  • Ender

    …If I was Kevin Lowe I’d have our GM put Souray on recallable waivers every week from now on until he did in fact rip up his contract and go b-bye…then i’d present that “long poking stick” to him at his lonely retirement presser.