Sheldon Souray opens up about Oilers experience

Sheldon Souray’s Oilers career began with much fanfare. In the complicated post-Cup run years, Souray was the biggest free agent acquisition made by Kevin Lowe. The Elk Point, Alberta product inked a five-year deal worth $27,000,000 to finally fill the massive void left on Edmonton’s blueline with the departure of Chris Pronger.

Thanks to injuries, that didn’t happen. Souray was nursing a shoulder injury in training camp in 2007 but played through it. He would end up injuring himself getting into a fight five games into the year and missed all but 26 games that season. In 2008-09, Souray was excellent. He suited up in 81 games, scored 23 goals, and logged 24:51 per game. There was the No. 1 defenceman the Oilers were hoping for.

But after that, injuries stung Souray and he would never play a full season with the Oilers again. Souray suffered a concussion three games into the 2009-10 season when Jarome Iginla hit him into the boards. He would play 37 games that season. In the off-season, Souray requested a trade from the Oilers. The Oilers responded angrily and placed Souray on waivers. He went unclaimed and played the entire 2010-11 season in the AHL. They bought out the final year of his deal and a couple of solid seasons with Dallas and Anaheim after that.

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Oilers Fans, who were clearly still rattled from Pronger’s trade demand, felt scorned again, this time by a local product who chose to play here in free agency. But, looking closely, there was always something odd about the whole situation. Souray never seemed to have any issue playing in Edmonton or with the fans or anything, the trade demand was an issue with management.

“It’s not a players thing. It’s not a fans thing or a city thing. It’s a management thing,” Souray said. “They’ve given up on me, and it’s a two-way street. I don’t talk to anyone (in management) and I don’t expect to when I check out of here. I don’t really need to talk to them. There isn’t anything to say.”

Souray calling out management made him a public enemy in Edmonton. What fans saw on the surface was a player who recklessly injured themselves in a fight running their mouth out of bitterness. We never actually got a clear view of what was going on behind the scenes.

Today, in response to John Shannon tweeting about Daryl Katz’s health, Souray opened up about his personal experience dealing with an injury while with the Oilers. According to Souray, he suffered a hand injury in a fight and, after surgery, it got infected. He said the infection was so bad he nearly had to have his hand amputated and he spent 12 months with an IV bag to keep the infection from spreading to his heart. While all this was going on, Souray said he had heard Oilers management thought Souray was milking the injury to get out of having to play. Interesting how he tweeted he heard that, but didn’t mention if he asked them if they felt that way.

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That’s a hell of a story. While our immediate reaction back then was to be angry at Souray for asking for a trade and bad-mouthing the organization, it always seemed fishy that things went down the way that they did. Now that this story is out in the open,(his version at least) you can see why he was so sour.

  • KootenayDan

    There is enough negativity surrounding the Oilers without digging up past transgressions time to move on and hope for better days. Sorry Sheldon for what happened hope things are good in your life today.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      I fully blame the writers on this site for this crap… There is absolutely no need to flip the optimism that is in the air with articles like this… It’s cheap. They might as well bring up Ference, Pronger & Penner and everyone else that left here disgruntled… The Oilers are not an anomaly when it comes to disgruntled ex-players.
      The the dirt on this team is pretty much known by it’s fan-base. If you as a journalist would like this team to succeed, then build it with facts, even embellish, I don’t care. These negative articles are embellished anyway, might as well use that energy for positivism and not just generating “click-bait”.
      What does Souray have to do with anything happening now anyway? The Draft is coming up, UFA’s are being discussed. The Oilers management & coaching staff are up in the air & you bring up Sheldon Souray…

      • TKB2677

        Unfortunately, it’s much easier to be negative than positive when it comes to just about anything in life. Oilers fans criticize how much the Oilers organization celebrate, bring up and live in their past glories but fans should look in the mirror. How often are stories like this, bad trades, bad signings, missed draft picks brought up over and over and over again.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          I know, I’m saying that that’s part of the problem… As I said, “it’s not like the fan-base doesn’t know all the crap”. And every one of us has an idea of how to fix it…
          The fact is that positive vibes breed positive results… That is a fact.
          And Sheldon Souray from 20 years ago, has nothing to to with the changes that we’ll hopefully see on this team in the next few years. Recent news has given us hope,… again (I might add).

      • monkey

        1. Clickbait worked because you’re here.
        2. This is a blog. They’re writers, not journalists (journalism is dead anyway).
        3. The Oilers have a shockingly terrible reputation with players and bringing up an issue which affects why we’ve made the playoffs isn’t “negativity”. I’d rather bring the dirt out and make a change than sit in ignorant bliss at the bottom of the standings again, but that’s just me.

      • serlio

        You kidding me dude? Those tweets came out a couple days ago and shed light on an interesting situation involving the oilers in the off-season. You’re seriously gonna blame the writers for writing about it instead of looking at it and saying “bah, this is too negative to write about we could really use more positivity”. Get real, you seem to just be complaining for the sake of complaining. The real atrocity is trying to read these articles on my phone and getting my headphones hijacked every few scrolls even when the article has no video.

  • JasonY

    Doesn’t surprise me. The organization under Kevin Lowe was pompous with little substance to substantiate their arrogance. It’s consistent with his debacle with Comrie in 2003 and calling out fans out in 2013. His huge ego that has made this organization arguable one of the worst in professional sports history.