I think we all knew Kevin Lowe was going to make a splash at some point (or resign) this summer in an effort to regain some credibility among Oilfans. I don’t think this move alone does it, but for most fans there’s no doubt a warm fuzzy feeling in our town this afternoon.
In pure hockey terms, it’s a contract Lowe will very likely live to regret. Souray is coming off a career season and even at that couldn’t be considered an attractive top pairing defender. Based on Desjardins’ “quality of opposition” ratings, the Habs didn’t consider him to be the best option available.
Souray isn’t getting the big money for his defense, he’s getting the dollars for this ability to shoot that cannon from the point. He was an amazing 19-29-48 on the powerplay (!!!!) which even when filtered through the assclown Oiler PP corrector is going to be impressive. He can also fight.
What doesn’t he do well? Carry the puck. Pass the puck. His ability to read and react is limited to the point where he gets passed like a house on the side of the road with frequency.
He’s a flawed option. He’s not Rob Deer flawed, but he’s going to have a lot of strikeouts to go along with the home runs.
So, is this a completely negative day? No. The Oilers (with Lowe under great pressure) may have sent an offer sheet to Zach Parise which would have cost them one of Steve Stamkos (92 points in 63 games in the OHL in 06-07 and he was 16 when last season started), Drew Doughty, Kyle Beach and a few other potential impact players in next year’s draft.
Considering all the options in play (Lowe needed a positive headline, the Oilers had 5M cap money, the offer sheet for Parise), I’m pretty happy with how today turned out.
I have no idea about the D pairings though. One thing is sure: we’re going to miss Jason Smith.