Souray Injured

Sheldon Souray hurt his shoulder on the weekend and is out for 3-4 weeks for certain, with the possibility of surgery on the horizon.

Souray hasn’t delivered the goods so far this season and has been miscast as a “big minutes, tough opposition” option on the Oilers blueline. So far he’s proven there is a gap between the current 44 and the old 44.

These 4 weeks will probably give the Oilers a chance to see Denis Grebeshkov and Mathieu Roy for extended periods, and perhaps recall Ladislav Smid.

I remain hopeful that the Oilers will trade for Don Awrey, and bring in Don Marcotte to replace Fernando Pisani’s smart minutes.

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29 Responses to "Souray Injured"

  1. LJ says:

    I agree that Souray has been miscast, but then so has Matt Greene. These two are living proof that the maxim: “Put your mind to it and you can accomplish anything,” is BS: these two will never make a bonafide top pairing.

    The injury could be a blessing in disguise. It will allow management to more closely asses our other 7 d-men, and maybe Smid. Even if it results in a painful string of losses, we should know who to keep and who to let go by the time Souray gets back.

  2. Big T says:

    Everyone on the back end is playing up a level to what they should. Our top for is heavy on the 3-4, light on the 1-2.

    Pitkanen gives me hope to turn into an above average 2 or a lower level 1… who else steps up in the next two years???

    Ideally, next year this defense is;

    ??? – Pitkanen
    Staios – Souray
    Gilbert – Smid
    Roy/Grebeshkov/???

    Will that actually happen?? Doubtful.

    T

  3. Jon G says:

    Maybe it is time to get someone to fight (Shelley) instead of having our 5.4 million dollar d-man doing it? What do you think?

  4. godot10 says:

    Well, Gilbert and Greene get thrown into the deep end. This might not be a bad thing. The Oilers are really counting on these two guys longer term anyways.

    Sometimes its better when there is no option. There is no option but to ride Gilbert and Greene. Make a mistake, then they are going right back out next shift, well, because there is nobody else.

    This way we will find out once and for ever if Greene is a keeper or not. (I know many others have made that judgement already. I haven’t.)

  5. Lowetide says:

    I heard Stauffer talking about it today. It’s an interesting idea, but did Souray fight before this season? He had 3 majors last season, 4 the year before that one.

    So I think he’s a guy who fights, it is part of his game. Having Shelley on the team wouldn’t change that imo.

  6. jadeddog says:

    souray has been mis-cast, no doubt about it…. but we’re still gonna miss him as the replacement player will not be as goos as souray by a long shot

    no luck this year for injuries…. just like last year actually

  7. PDO says:

    The physical, aging, injury prone defenseman is injured?

    That’s blasphemy.

  8. Asiaoil says:

    Uncle…….I was optimistic in training camp but the cumulative impact of the Pisani, Moreau and now Souray injuries cannot be overcome IMHO. Veteran depth was thin to begin with and now it’s non-existent. Does anyone really believe that Lowe will make an in-season trade before Xmas no matter how pressing the need? Not me.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Asia: Oh yeah, I’m certain Lowe will make a deal. Soon.

  10. Pat says:

    Like LT, it was my understanding that fighting is part of Souray’s game – not a big part, mind you, but he’s clearly a guy willing to stick up for his mates when called for. I guess the question is: does a ~3 million hike in salary change anything? MacT’s answer to this was clearly stated in his comments today. He mentions that while he didn’t give Souray a ‘no fighting’ mandate previously, but he will in the future.

    Great. So who else do we have left? We have guys that are willing, but not really able (Stortini being the most obvious). Then we have one guy who theoretically has the size, but is clearly not one to muck it up – Penner seems like the friendly giant. And that’s fine, I guess, I never personally expected him to be otherwise.

    But it’s interesting that there were some rumblings after the acquisition of Souray and Penner suggesting that we had bolstered our toughness. Have we?

    Another funny thing that comes to mind is an interview that Tencer had with MacT late July or so. Tencer offered pretty lightweight questions, unsurprisingly. But there was one unscripted moment of hilarity. Tencer gently brought up the issue of toughness, injuries, the Boogeyman, etc. MacT explicitly agreed that it had been a problem. So Tencer, moving to the perfectly logical follow up question, asked, ‘do you plan to address it’? MacT responds ‘no’, and goes on to suggest something along the lines of it being done by committee. It was really funny, because MacT admitted that it was a problem, yet simultaneously declared that they didn’t plan to do anything significant about it.

    Then again, MacT mentioned last year that it might be time to think about getting fighting out of the game.

  11. Dennis says:

    the best news I’ve heard all season. Seriously.

    The way MacT and Co were overrating Souray reminded of Felipe Alou and Terry Jones a few summers ago.

    Sometimes guys come exactly as advertised and the older that a guy is, the less likely it is that you’ll find any surprises.

    Souray’s limited in his abilities, and so is the stupid fucking idiot that signed him.

  12. Jon G says:

    LT

    Fighting may be a part of Souray’s game but if it is. It should be only when it means something. In a game that is 4-0 at that point and escalating to some place bad. You need someone that will go and calm things down so that your “star” doesnt have to do that. Had we had someone that was doing their job Souray would not have had to do what he did because the game would not have been going in that direction.

  13. danny says:

    In order to have any merit to this being ‘best fucking news’ then I gotta ask, are you saying the Oilers are a better team today w/o Souray in their top 6? replacing him Mathieu Roy or Smid ?

    Maybe I could buy the argument that MacT and Huddy are just dumb fucks that are really oblivious to his limitations and give him the toughest minutes in sheer stupidity…

    Or more likely, Souray is top 6 in a bad bunch of NHL defensemen.

    ‘best fucking news’ nah… great for anyone thats looking to kick Lowe while hes down. he probably deserves it too so I dont mind that…

    but i feel like I’m reading matheson grade A corn turn when I see people saying Souray shouldnt be in this the top6 of this ragged group of defensemen. seriously.

  14. Bruce says:

    Toughness by committee strikes again. Last year the “team tough” mantra cost us Moreau for the year, and things really unravelled from that point. Then we had Boogaard, who had been pounded by Laraque 2 or 3 times in the past and who had never been much of a factor, running around injuring guys with little or no response.

    So over the summer Oilers dealt with the issue by … ??? And here we are again, losing a key player (sorry, Dennis) to a silly fight.

    I didn’t think Oilers’ shitty luck of 2006-07 could be repeated, but here we are 6 games in and minus three key veterans and a hell of a lot of leadership. Not to mention the prospect of handing a lottery ticket to Brian F. Burke.

    In the immortal words of Joe Schultz, “ah, shitfuck!”

  15. RiversQ says:

    Did Souray train with Chad Moreau this summer?

    I hear that guy really works the shoulders.

  16. RiversQ says:

    danny said…
    but i feel like I’m reading matheson grade A corn turn when I see people saying Souray shouldnt be in this the top6 of this ragged group of defensemen. seriously.

    Dennis doesn’t need defending but who the fuck said Souray doesn’t belong in the top six?

    That’s just some sorry reading comprehension.

    If you ignore the ridiculous price tag, then Souray fits in just fine as a bottom pairing guy with spot duty in the second pairing at ES on a team with decent NHL dmen. Even this Oiler club can’t justify giving Souray top pairing minutes as long as Staios can be thrown over the boards with one hand taped to his stick.

  17. Dennis says:

    Thank you, Riv.

    I thought I was being clear on my point, but I guess not.

  18. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I know it’s quite fashionable to hate Greene. I don’t really think he’s that great myself. But is it his fault that he’s being asked to do more than he’s capable of?

    Show of hands here who liked Gator as an Oiler. Smith is 10 years older than Greene. 10 years ago, Smith was a minus player with Toronto. He skated funny, and wasn’t fast. I have a good friend who’s a die hard Leaf fan. He still recalls how he thought Smith was a bum. He also wishes now they’d kept him.

    I know this will come as a shock to all of us armchair GMs, but virtually all talented NHLers don’t want to play in Edmonton. No one worth having is going to waive their NTC to be traded here. No free agents worth having that have any choice at all are coming here (according to most of the people commenting here, Souray is not worth having…). So what the fuck is an organization supposed to do? Like KLowe says, they have two options – the odd offer sheet, but mostly building internally. And building internally means giving the minutes to those who need building. And giving minutes to those who need building means we’re going to see growing pains. As in fuck-ups, losses, and general embarrassment. Why is everyone so goddammed shocked at this?

    I’m with everyone else in saying KL overpaid this summer. But I also don’t think he’s sitting in a corner somewhere right now, picking his nose and ignoring the ringing phone with Florida on the other end offering Boumeester for a 3rd round pick. But I guarantee that every GM he calls knows exactly what he’s calling about, knows exactly how bad he needs what he’s calling about, and is asking for Hemsky and Pitkanen and Stoll and Cogliano and Gagner in return. Why wouldn’t they?

    Finally, the cool thing to bash Greene about in pre-season was his inability to stay out of the Pbox. Does anyone now give him credit for 5 PIM through 6 games? Thought so.

    This is the 07-08 edition of the Oilers. They aren’t very good. Souray (or insert name of almost any Oiler here) is being asked to play above their head. There is no other choice. Surprise!

  19. Asiaoil says:

    LT – yeah he may make a deal – but Roy for Shelley is not my idea of saving the season. Cynicism aside – why are you so confident he’ll do anything? – history does not suggest it.

  20. danny says:

    RiversQ said…
    Dennis doesn’t need defending but who the fuck said Souray doesn’t belong in the top six?

    That’s just some sorry reading comprehension.

    Thanks Riv for your concern on dennis’ welfare and my reading comprehension…

    Like I said I could buy that MacT and Huddy are misusing Souray, and now thye can’t because hs injured. If that was dennis’s point then my comprehension is quite intact.

    But categorizing that as the best news possible, souray being injured and taking a stab at Lowe, is just going so for a chance to dance on the grave.

    Souray being injured isn’t the best news the Oilers could have gotten. are you kidding me? Thats Matheson spin.

    And for the record since you asked, LT had Souray out of his top 6 in a post here not very long ago.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Asia: I’m confident because this team is a strong candidate to be taken out behind the woodshed like last year’s team.

    Despite contract renewals and the “love-in” that is Oilers management, you can’t keep losing 40+ games and certainly can’t keep “waiting until the deadline” when you’re being passed like a house on the side of the road by everyone but the LA Queens and Sergeant Gretzky’s Loney Heart’s Club Band.

    They are poor, we knew they were poor and now they’ve lost Pisani and an NHL defenseman in Souray.

    Plus they have some cap room. So they’re playing Schremp on the top line tonight, maybe he scored 2 goals this week and is shuffled off somewhere (in a package) for a useful 2-way winger.

    The Oilers lost 50 games in 92-93, 45 losses in 93-94, would have lost 47 the next season and did lose 44 in 95-96.

    Lowe’s team lost 43 a year ago, look like a candidate for a similar number this season.

    Kevin Lowe may be God, but he isn’t Connie Mack.

  22. Jonathan says:

    I’ve read in a number of places that the Oilers as a team are plagued by bad luck. Not so. Souray has a history of both fighting and injury problems, so although this probably shouldn’t have been expected, it isn’t entirely unexpected either. Furthermore, Pisani’s difficulties, if you read the interview with him, were apparent this summer. Lowe should certainly be faulted for not signing a replacement. That said, if Souray were being used properly, this would be a big loss. But the fact that the powerplay revolves around his shot (and in the entire tenure of MacTavish, I’m yet to be convinced that anyone on the team understands how a powerplay works) is horrific. With Souray out I’m looking for moderate improvement as they’re forced to try something else. Furthermore, both Pitkanen (who makes funny choices) and Steve Staios are less limited than him defensively, and you’d have difficulty convincing me that Gilbert and Tarnstrom aren’t at least on par. Like Dennis, I think Souray being out is great news. Particularly if he plays in a reduced role when he returns.

  23. Bruce says:

    Lowe’s team lost 43 a year ago, look like a candidate for a similar number this season.

    Lowe’s team lost 50 a year ago, their W-L-L record was 32-43-7. Sorry, despite appearances, those aren’t ties. (And the system is a fucked-up mess, but that’s another rant.)

  24. Dennis says:

    Well, Clayton, I guess the NHL should go easy on Lowe because he doesn’t have a chance in the first place, now does he;)?

    And you know, I’d be inclined to feel bad for him, well actually I wouldn’t, if everything you said were true but let’s just say that was the case, then wouldn’t it make sense to absolutely sign a guy in Smyth who actually liked playing here? At least that’s the way I’d see things.

    Danny, I’m shocked that you’d compare me to Matheson. There’s a guy over on HF called Misfit who said he thought that Souray’s absence would be beneficial because it would mean that some of the young D kids would get to play and it would pump their value. Now, THAT to ME, is something that Matty would say, ie now the Oilers can show off their depth and they’ll be better for it, damnit!!

    Me, on the other hand, I’m saying the team’s better off because they had no intentions of playing Souray to the point of where he wouldn’t be a hinderence: 10 min or less at ES and then primo PP time.

    So, in closing, YES, I think this is the best news possible for our D corps because I believe that the Oilers either think they can turn Souray around or they know they can’t but they’re still willing to play the fuck out of him anyway.

    I know we’re not scoring many goals and though I haven’t posted in LT’s alluding thread above, I think that some things are gonna break for some guys and we’re gonna be fine. I don’t think we’ll be good or awful but we should be fine. That being said, we’re young enough and house enough guys who are either in their prime or on the upside that things might break somewhat towards good.

    As for the D, though, there’s trouble.

    The problem with Souray is the same as it is with Greene and Gilbert: all these guys are at the point where they should really be only playing in the bottom pairing.

    I’m just hoping that come next season:

    - Pitkanen’s been signed and looks more comfortable here

    - Gator’s been lured back from Philly, ie he’s a UFA this summer, right?

    - The NHL changes their CBA policy regarding team’s being allowed to pay some of the salary of dealt players and thus we can make the decision to pay 2 mill a year of Souray’s remaining years and we can ship him the fuck out of here.

    I know that most of that is a stretch but so’s the chance of us making the playoffs in 2009.

    That’s how bad things are.

    And, yes, 2′s positioning can still be iffy but he’s really cut down on the penalties. It would be nice if we had someone to play with Tarnstrom on the second pairing and then we could let both GIlbert and Greene earn their stripes on the third pairing.

  25. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Dennis – Agree about signing Smyth. But let’s just say, for arguement’s sake, that there were no hard feelings between he and Lowe, and Lowe offered to match Colorado’s money to get Smyth back here last July 1. I honestly believe that Smyth doesn’t come back, because as romantic as it sounds to hear him say he wanted to be the Oilers’ version off Yzerman, he really wants to get his name on that Cup.

    The Oilers’ only hope for the near-to-medium term future is that they pull a ‘Pittsburg’. Gary Roberts didn’t leave Florida for Pittsburg because he thinks it’s a great little town. If Cogs and Gags and Horpensky or Skycoffner and whoever else can turn themselves into elite talent, we won’t be having the no-one-wants-to-play-in-Edmonton discussion anymore. If they can’t, then they’ll be asking for trades soon too.

  26. danny says:

    Dennis, no worries I don’t think you would ever say something that Matheson would say heh… Just saying that having him on the IR being good news, is a statement much like Matty would make, rooted more in his own ideologies than what i would consider the nuts and bolts of the situation.

    I know what you mean though, Souray definitely has warts, and its easy to be bitter in the fact that he was Lowes answer to a terrible stretch of managing this team.

    Souray has terrible footwork, and an outright liability in transition defense, but he isn’t useless behind his own blueline, atleast when not compunding his weaknesses by pairing him with Greene and sending them out against tough competition.

    It’s sad that he is easily our best option for a 2nd pairing, but thats the case, however long it takes for MacT and Huddy to iron the wrinkles in their pairings.

    I get what you’re saying, but look at the D Corps.

    I guess 3 weeks of Sourays absense may very well help MacT and Huddy find a top pairing under fire, and help Souray/Oilers in the long run… but im sure you can see how twisting losing a 2nd pairing guy into best news of the season strikes me a little as hockey hall of fame calibre stuff ;)

    I’m doing my best to enjoy this young team, so maybe im opening my trap too much over small things towards people that I agree with on 95% everything oilers…

    Anwyays, a few pints of Rickards Red tonight at the ol Ale n Lager to watch the game might keep the copper colored glasses intact… hopefully.

  27. Bruce says:

    “It’s not critical, by any stretch. We can offset his absence … Over the long term, having Sheldon with us on the power play is going to help. But in the short term, maybe we start getting productive. That’s just the way it works sometimes.”

    – Craig (Dennis) MacTavish

    FWIW, I agree. The Oilers powerplay will be dangerous the day that Souray’s booming shot is just one of its weapons. For now they can work on Plan B for awhile.

  28. Dennis says:

    Points taken, I just think that it’s better, right now, to remove him from the equation altogether.

    Just because you pay the guy like a star and/or difference-maker, that doesn’t mean that he is one.

    I’m not anticipating anyone stepping up to the point of where MacT feels safe putting Souray back into the bottom pairing upon his return, I just think it’s a good idea for him not to play 24 min a night and if that means he plays no mintues a night, then I’m fine with that as well

  29. Doogie says:

    Maybe it is time to get someone to fight (Shelley) instead of having our 5.4 million dollar d-man doing it? What do you think?

    That might be something if he’d been the one to start the fight, but it was Ritchie who instigated it after a hit on Kesler. Even if MacT puts up some asinine “don’t fight” rule (did he do that for Pronger?), there’s not much Souray can do in a situation like that, nor is it highly likely that our theoretical goon, if we had one, would be out there at that time anyway.

    (Also, didn’t Zeppelin write a song about the LA Queens?)

    I think that some things are gonna break for some guys and we’re gonna be fine. I don’t think we’ll be good or awful but we should be fine.

    You mean this year or one or two down the road? It’s hard to tell from your post.

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