Sheldon Souray casually arrived at the 2009 Oilers autograph session 10 minutes after the session began. Now, he is no longer an Oilers' issue. Photo by Lisa McRitchie all rights reserved
In the least surprising news of the day, Sheldon Souray is no longer an Edmonton Oiler. Souray was supposed to have been a long time Oiler with a great story. He was supposed to have played hard minutes, led the team to many victories and scored enough goals to help spur the team through the playoffs. Alas, that is not quite how things played out. Souray came to the Oilers via free agency and was quite possibly the biggest free agent to ever come to Edmonton."I'm heading home to Alberta and I can't wait to step onto the ice at Rexall Place," Souray told the media, making Oilers fans soar with pride. "It's always been a terrific building to play in. I couldn't be happier with my decision and I can tell you it was an easy one to make."
Souray was an all star and a semi local boy, being from Elk Point, Alberta and thus excited to be closer to his family. When Souray arrived in Edmonton there were questions about his health in regards to his shoulder. As a result, there was little surprise when he needed shoulder surgery in his first season. There was surprise when that was not the only injury Souray suffered during his time with the team.
Souray did not go quietly, instead creating a stir in the media stating his unhappiness with the organization and demanding a trade. This then pushed Oilers' GM Steve Tambellini to bury Souray in the minors. Of course not with the Oilers affiliate team the Oklahoma City Barons, but instead with the Hershey Bears. Souray was scouted by other NHL teams, and the Oilers attempted to trade "Big Sexy" but nothing came to fruition, not even at the trade deadline of the 2009-10 season. Instead, Souray was placed on unconditional waivers Thursday June 30th with the intention of buying out the remaining year of his contract, $4.5 million.
Today, Sheldon Souray has signed with the Dallas Stars, and at a fraction of his last contract; $1.65 million for one year. Souray may still have a few more years in him, but I think this signing shows that other teams still see him as a gamble. One thing is certain however, Sheldon Souray is no longer an Oiler, no longer an asset or a liability. Souray could have been an amazing Oiler and there are still some out there feel in some ways he still was. Some are still sad that Souray is gone and wish that he could have been given another chance. For those Souray fans, at least you can see Souray play, if he's healthy and in the line-up against the Dallas Stars four times this year.