Thursday, July 12, 2007


Sheldon Souray Signs ... With the Oilers

by Jes
Sheldon Souray

Well, well, well!! It looks like the Oilers finally caught a big fish in the old free agent pond.
Was it the superbly produced DVD that boasted about how 'great' Edmonton a city is to play in?? Not bloody likely.

Let's face it, Souray and his agent greatly overestimated the market for the big lug's services, and the Oilers were just so desperate to land a big free agent that there were more than willing to overspend.

The damage? $27mil over 5 seasons. OUCH!

Now, normally signing a defenseman that just scored 26 goals and 64 points last season would be cause to crack open a bottle of Cristal. However, Souray is not "normal". How many offensive-minded defensemen are bit oafs?

Before last season, Souray's career high in points was 39. Can you say 'outlier', kiddies?

48 of 64 of Souray's points last season came on the Power Play (wow!), and he's a big, slow, lumbering dough-head.

As Big Mac mentions over at NHL FanHouse:
The knock on Souray this offseason has been pretty simple: Despite setting an NHL record for power play goals by a defenseman, his game is a tad one dimensional -- something that was easy to see as he posted a -28, 135 penalty minutes (third highest in the league among defensemen) and seven cross-checking penalties (most in the NHL) along with all those goals

A tad one-dimensional? Souray is the kind of defenseman that is always looking for big hits, and putting himself out of position to do so. Bad penalties and bad positioning = one overrated d-man.

Yes, one team was bound to take the bait and Edmonton was it. Take Souray's Power Play goodness out of the equation, and you have a big pylon (albeit a dreamy pylon with model good looks).

Souray is also 31, and is only going to get slower than he already is. Just wait until the later part of this contract, when he'll have trouble keeping up with the likes of Derek Boogaard.

I'd imagine Oilers fans are pretty pleased, given how badly the summer has gone for them.

As for the Habs, they spent $5.5mil a season on Roman Hamrlik. If I was a Habs fan, I'd be a bit pissed that my team ended up with a non-descript 2nd line defenseman, rather than the Blaster Master at around the same price tag.

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Speaking as a Habs fan, Jes, I'm pleased that the Canadiens got a better all-round d-man in Hamrlik than the "Blaster Master" and his -28 despite scoring 26 goals (most on the PP) and 62 points last season.

Granted, Hamrlik won't post up the points that Souray did, but then again, he won't be getting deked out of his jock regularly on highlight reel goals like Souray did. And Hamrlik was paired with Phaneuf in Calgary and is credited with tutoring his transition to the NHL game, something that might make him worthwhile with the young d-men who'll be coming up with the Habs.

Sure, the Habs overpaid for Hamrlik, but it was money they'd orginally offered to Souray anyway, and it went to a better d-man, as can be seen when comparing their career stats over the past five-seven seasons.
When Chara can make you look like a pylon, you are a big oaf :)
He is awfully handsome, though.
Sorry Lyle, apparently you didn't watch Phaneuf and Hamrlik in action last year. I think you may still be seeing those "deked out of his jock" hilights, only it won't be Souray. Hopefully Phaneuf can rebound from a not so great year. Still as an Oiler's fan, like the Souray deal and yes hopefully he leaves the large Minus in Montreal.
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