GOOD OILER, BAD OILER

 

The gulf between a good Oiler and a bad Oiler has never been as wide as the distance between Ryan Smyth and Sheldon Souray of late. Both former assistant captains of the Edmonton Oilers hockey club and both considered to be veteran presences and leaders in the room they could not be any more different.

Sheldon Souray is a self indulgent dink who played a sulky full season in the AHL last year – a reward usually reserved for the injured or those whose game has fallen of a cliff.

Ryan Smyth is a Saint who was told by most everyone that he wouldn’t live up to his contract when he signed it back in ____. Instead of sulking as he bounced between NYI, Colorado and eventually the LA Kings he produced consistently all the way along.

Both players are playing for contracts this year as their current tickets expire at the end of the season and their career outlooks are as different as the two men themselves.

RYAN SMYTH

“Doing the house hunting makes it really hit me that I’m back in Edmonton. This is the place we call home. I’m overwhelmed with joy.” – Ryan Smyth to the Edmonton Sun upon his return.

Overwhelmed with joy? Has anyone ever said this about being traded to Edmonton in the history of the club? We haven’t been overwhelmed with joy since Bud Light 40 oz went on sale in some of the lower 48 states. Ryan Smyth is that happy to be coming back to Edmonton. Wow.

Jerks and consipracy theorists may say that at Smyth’s age he is looking for someone to give him the easy paycheck as he transitions into a guilded retirement. Like so many players around the league, perhaps he is just happy to play anywhere regardless of the quality of the team.

So Mr. Smyth, what is your outlook for the team?

“This is a talented young team Tamby is putting together and getting the five guys he signed on July 1 moved us up in the standings. Already I can feel the energy in the city and with the talk of a new arena, there could be no greater feeling than winning a Stanley Cup here in Edmonton.”’

And this is a guy who was three periods away from winning the Stanley Cup "here in Edmonton."

And what did he look like in those days again?

The very opposite of collecting a cheque.

Damn. What a good Oiler.

SHELDON SOURAY

Speaking of good Oilers, don’t ever mention Sheldon Souray in that capacity.

Ever.

Fresh off a year long "sit in the corner and think about it" in the AHL it is clear that he has neither sat in the corner nor thought about anything. He is still the self indulgent dink he has ever been. Let’s take a look at a few "facts" that he helpfully grumbled to a radio station in Dallas of late:

Souray fact: "Edmonton isn’t a top choice for NHLers. “I guess it’s just not a place that’s attractive to go to, for whatever reason …”

Counter fact: Seems to us that all sorts of people want to play here now. You don’t sign 57 free agents in the first day of free agency if people don’t want to play here. You don’t want to play here Sheldon, neither do players of your ilk who want to collect millions of dollars in a pressure free environment where people don’t care a bit about hockey. Don’t get it twisted.

Souray fact: "Things were derailed in Edmonton because of hand injuries sustained in a fight."

Counter fact: Nice to see that Souray is still having issues with truth telling. Much like the time he claimed "other teams were going to sign me for more before Edmonton made an offer" – later proven false – he claims the hand injury was what sent things off the track.

This is Edmonton numbnuts. Did you happen to notice that we finished back to back last two years in a row? Did you happen to notice the cheques that were arriving from the Katz Corporation on a flat bed truck every two weeks while you ‘tried super hard in the AHL?’

if you were anything other than a Grade A locker room cancer you would have been playing here in Edmonton the entire time while Tambo shopped you around. A hand injury may have taken you out of the NHL, but your character injury kept you on the shelf.

You would think that being passed over on the waiver wire several times and being signed by the Dallas Stars – desperate for D-men at any cost – to a mere 1 year deal might teach the guy some humility. Not Lord Sheldon of Souray though. No he is content to blame the Oilers for his own problems. No ability to bounce back from adversity, no way to man up and take the classy road.

All we want to hear from you from here on out Souray is "I am sad to be retiring after so many great years in the NHL." Good luck with the rest of that career you have.

Damn. What a bad Oiler.

MORE SMYTH OMENS

What could be the craziest omen to date comes from our buddy Mike in Lloydminster. He reports via email that "I was making a sandwich when i looked up at my fruit bowl as saw this…"

We have seen many a banana in our day (that’s what she said) but we have never seen one that looks like this! This is the most Ryan Smyth related banana that the Gods have ever seen fit to issue! Call someone! Guiness book of records! The Vatican! Smyth himself on his solid gold blackberry! People need to know!

Sick photo Mike. It’s clear that the return of Ryan Smyth to Edmonton is fixing the hole in the space-time continuum that has hung over Edmonton since 2006. If you have more Smyth Omen sightings hit up your ol’ pal Wanye at wanyegretz@gmail.com

What a banana.