Reasonable Expectations for 08-09 (Souray)

Sheldon Souray expects to be healthy this season. The Edmonton Oilers certainly need his size, experience and missile from the point all winter long.

Since the lockout, he’s played 182 of a possible 246 games (74%), which would put his expectation at about 61 games for the coming season.

Souray had two long stretches on the injury list a season ago. He hurt his shoulder in mid-October and missed a couple of dozen games and then hurt it again in January and they shut him down for good right around Valentine’s day.

To the naked eye Souray looked a little better than we thought, and MacT mentioned something along the way to the same effect. The Desjardins’ math says he played with the worst possible combination of linemates and against the toughest possible opposition. This would be very similar to the Jarret Stoll experience (great name for a band) and one he might repeat this season based on the makeup of the roster. We also need to keep in mind this was in limited time since Souray spend most of the season (68%) out of the lineup.

The questions are health and results and when you’re paying the man this kind of money it would be nice to have those questions already answered. The Oilers are probably do as they did last season: run him hard on special teams, pair him with wheels at EVs and hope that the fact he is a combined -46 since the end of the lockout is bad damn luck.

Prediction for 08-09: 51gp, 10-17-27 (.529 per game).

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33 Responses to "Reasonable Expectations for 08-09 (Souray)"

  1. Vic Ferrari says:

    I think he’ll do better than that numbers-wise, LT. I mean it’s a bit sad that we are saying “he’s not at bad at evens as I thought!” about a guy eating that much of the payroll, but he really wasn’t as bad as I’d expected.

    And his one big trick, the blast from the point, really is a good one. With Hemsky permananetly on the left now that Stoll is gone (can we agree that Hemsky IS the Oilers PP?) and Visnovsky offering a genuine option on the left PP point, this sets up to be a potentially huge year for Sheldon.

    And then he will be traded just before Christmas, along with a rolling Nilsson (Oiler fans everywhere will debate whether it is him or Gagner driving the results on that line) for Jay Bouwmeester, who will have agreed in advance to a long term deal at a surprisingly reasonable rate.

    It says so right here in my dream journal, Lain. Right there in black and white, as real as wrestlin’. Book it.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Vic: Love to book that! The one last memory I have of Souray last season was a play where he lost his stick (or it broke) and he was caught jailbreak the other way. Buddy put on the Jetson-rockets and caught up to the puck carrier and threw him like a hay bail.

    It wasn’t worth the contract, but it was certainly pretty funny for a hockey play.

  3. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah, he’s an easy player to like in a lot of ways, just too much coin.

    And to add, I agree with Jonathon from the Vis post, Souray and Staios look set up to take a boatload of own zone draws at this point. That ends badly for almost every Dman.

    Hopefully a great PP year for him though.

  4. Ribs says:

    Only 17 Assists? You don’t think he’ll bank it off more guys than that? Where’s Ryan Smyth when you need him…

  5. Quain says:

    Only 17 Assists? You don’t think he’ll bank it off more guys than that?

    With that shot you eventually run out of live bodies to bank it off of.

  6. Dennis says:

    He’s from Alberta; so, I’m not really worried that the Oilers offered him a mill more season than anyone else.

    I’m also not worried that he put up awful EV numbers while playing third pairing min for Cuntreal in ’07.

    I think those 13 games he played with the Oilers in ’08 is the best harbinger of what he’ll bring for the rest of his career.

  7. doritogrande says:

    “Vic: Love to book that! The one last memory I have of Souray last season was a play where he lost his stick (or it broke) and he was caught jailbreak the other way. Buddy put on the Jetson-rockets and caught up to the puck carrier and threw him like a hay bail.”

    I think I remember said play. Did it not end in a penalty shot, 5 minute major for slashing and a game misconduct? I may have this confused with another moment, but the vision of him two-handing a stick over some dude whilst breaking his own stick just…sticks out in my memory.

    For 5.4M, that’s in Bryan McCabe territory of contract suckage if his point totals are that low. I’d be hugely disappointed in only 10 goals.

  8. spOILer says:

    Reasonable Expectations for Sheldon Souray:

    #1: Is it unreasonable to expect that he stay healthy? 67 games played minimium please.
    RE#2: Is it unreasonable to expect that while healthy he score and prevent goals? 13-27-40, -5.
    RE#3: Is it unreasonable to expect that if he’s unable to stay healthy then he retires, or accepts permanent LTIR, or concedes to a trade?

    I like Shell’s Game more than most out there. I admit his first 3 steps look like a loaded supertanker leaving port; passing, especially on the “fly” is an uphill swim, and his injury history has cliff dived into an empty swimming pool. But…

    He has excellent size and strength. Can fight like a pole cat. Is tough and mean down low in his own end and can dispossess. Owns a Winchester from the point. And once the supertanker finds his stride, he’s more like a freight train, if only he could turn on rails.

    I can’t see him scoring much EV paired with Staios (I hope neither is charging the opposing blue line with any sort of intent if they’re to handle opposing transitions), but maybe Shelly being bigger and stronger than Gator means Staios will be more effective defensively.

    The sad thing is, Souray’s best chance to live up to his contract is in the first couple of years and one of those is already blown.

    In the end, Souray is another question for LT’s list that will be answered at some point this season.

    BTW, Dennis, didn’t Souray say he didn’t pick the highest bidder?

  9. PDO says:

    Get home from Lucky 13… what a shithole bar…. and Vic gives me a boner.

    Christ.

    If the Oilers did that, I’d need to buy a new pair of pants.

  10. offensivhockey says:

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  11. Jonathan says:

    I’m also not worried that he put up awful EV numbers while playing third pairing min for Cuntreal in ’07.

    I think those 13 games he played with the Oilers in ’08 is the best harbinger of what he’ll bring for the rest of his career.

    Fair enough, and I agree that Souray isn’t worth his contract. Period.

    However, he isn’t as bad defensively as he looked in 2006-07. I’ve talked about this at length before, but it basically boils down to this: of Souray’s career -34, he’s been -35 over the past two seasons. Which means that for the first 8 seasons of his NHL career, he broke even, even if he was playing bottom-pairing minutes.

    Granted, the game changed post-lockout, which is where he’s looked his worst, but I think it’s reasonable to believe that he can play bottom-pairing minutes with some level of effectiveness.

    Not that he’s going to get the opportunity; he’ll play difficult minutes, bleed red, and you can keep harping on him because he’ll never be worth his contract.

  12. Jonathan says:

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    Will Jan Hlavac in good at the bigger rink and kedjekemin between his teammates? Det är trots allt en bra stjärna och de brukar har krav och behöver också bra spelare omkring sig för att lyckas… Ny tränare, nya förutsättningar, Janne K rullade på kedjorna, medan Lener är en klassisk NHL tränare med 2 offensiva – 1 defensiv som spelar noll-noll och den sista spel då och då… LHC var nära i fjol, men disciplinen tröt i slutet av säsongen. Syftar till Andreas Pihls fäktning. LHC came close last year, but the discipline tröt at the end of säsongen. Syftar to Andreas Pihls fencing. Blir denna disciplin bättre med Slavomir Lener som ledare? … Jag tror det, för disciplinerat … LHC gav heller inte Kim Staal en förlängning och detta tror jag är ett misstag.

    That’s just funny.

  13. Dennis says:

    Yes, Jon, I can and I will because of all the reasons you listed:)

    I like picking on Souray because guys like Stauffer — and to a lesser extent Brownlee — like to come off as being the major media critics of the Oil and there are nothing but crickets when you try and pin them down on Souray.

    Spoiler: I never read that quote from Souray; when Staples did his 16 part series on Cal Nichols and the Oilers, there was a quote from someone that said the Oilers offered a mill more per season than the nearest competitor.

    It’s funny how that shook out that summer — and by funny I mean it depressed me for a whole weekend — because Souray was on the market and everyone knew he was bright and shiny because of his counting stats. But it seemed like everyone would also be bidding large on him while looking past his play when he Wasn’t on the PP.

    But, it turned out that our very own Oilers ended up being the biggest dummies of the bunch.

    And everyone in the media either glosses it over OR is afraid to talk about it.

  14. Sean says:

    OK, if SS survives playing top pairing D and is the triggerman of what I think will be a very good PP, how many games will he have to play in order to earn his dollar?

  15. Jonathan says:

    OK, if SS survives playing top pairing D and is the triggerman of what I think will be a very good PP, how many games will he have to play in order to earn his dollar?

    I’m not convinced he can- he’s never had a season offensively like 2006-07 and he may never have it again.

    For him to be worth his contract, I want to see 45 points+ and keeping close to even against tough opposition, or 60 points+ and staying in the black against medium opposition.

  16. Dennis says:

    I think Jon’s on the right track for what we need to get from Souray but the point is that at money like that there needs to be at least one area where the guy just about OWNS.

    His salary hasn’t really hurt us up to this point but that will all change when 13-89 are about to suck at the teet and if you want to look even closer, maybe when Cole walks after this season.

    That’s not to say you can only pay forwards because some dmen sometime are going to make money but you can’t pay over 5 mill a year to a guy who’s a fucking question mark.

  17. Oilman says:

    Souray shouldn’t be the reason that Gagner or Cogliano don’t get their paycheques if they are deserving of them. Souray’s no movement ends after next season – which means if he’s adding nothing, and is in the way of signing a young star, he can be burried in the minors and removed from the cap….new rich owner and such.

  18. Paper Designer says:

    If you look over this team, the “which of these does not fit” game picks out Souray on multiple levels. His age, propensity towards injuries, lack of footspeed and large contract. He’s a useful player, but I’m not convinced that he’ll still be an effective difference maker by the time this team is ready to win a cup.

    And now the Oilers have another 5 million plus contract on a 30+ defender. The difference is that Visnovsky isn’t nearly as injury prone and plays a finesse game, and thus is much more likely to be productive right to the end of his contract.

    He needs to be traded. He’s useful enough, and the salary cap is rising fast enough, that somebody would take him. But I doubt it will work out that his destination will happen to be a place he’s willing to accept a trade to.

  19. rickibear says:

    "there needs to be at least one area where the guy just about OWNS"

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/2007/4_on_5.php?sort=14&mingp=20&mintoi=2&team=&pos=D

    He ranks were for GAON/60. It is nice to have two of the three best heavy minutes 3:00 PK TOI Dmen in the league.

    The one that bothers me. The start of the year the power play was set up to feed thru Souray. Other teams keyed on him and the other players did not bury there chances. Slot Souray and Visvovsky in the PP from the end of the year and you will see the production he had before.

    His influence on the ice is still reflected in GF while he was on the ice.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/2007/5_on_4.php?sort=13&mingp=20&mintoi=2&team=&pos=D

    EV I hope he maintains a role of defensive LD paired with a puck moving RD (Gilbert or Vis)

    Of the 107 Dmen with 15:00 EV TOI he ranked 63/107 with 2.42 GA/60

    I think your useage matches what I have been preaching all year.
    Your 16G 43PT per 82GM pace is his average for the last four years. Hopefully he plays most of the year.

  20. Oilman says:

    after next year, he’d have no say in where he was traded.

  21. Doogie2K says:

    He ranks were for GAON/60. It is nice to have two of the three best heavy minutes 3:00 PK TOI Dmen in the league.

    You mean the division? That’s what it looked like to me.

  22. rickibear says:

    This whole Souray question caused me to try and establish a little thing. I have been trying to create an overall Goals per 60 effect for players. By establishing a total Goal effect versus the League mean for players in each category.

    For Even you look at players Goal effect based on: Total GE

    +-GE versus league average,
    +-GE=((Gf/60-GA/60)-GEAvg)
    The GE average should be close to zero.

    %GP=GP/82

    %TOI=TOI/60

    Total GE=((+-GE*%GP)*%TOI))

    The formula can be applied to all three disciplines.

    You then can determine a players total Goal Effect.

    Total GE= (GE EV + GE PP + GE PK)

    This gives you an influence value up to the point of the season or at the end.

    My big concern is the Quality of Linemates and Competition effect at EV.

    As well as the quality of team versus the league.

    There has to be a way to have qualities and team rank modify the GE results using standard deviation.

    I am at the prelimanary level and need some input to decide if I proceed with this.

    Do you think this could be a fair measure.

  23. gizhola says:

    The penalty shot & slashing major was a game against Phoenix. The Oil were on a PP and Hemmer made a bad pass back to Stoll at the point. Souray had to hustle back to lay the lumber on to Doan.

    Here's the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_6loMWgOTU

    Of course Garon stops Doan on the penalty shot.

  24. Dennis says:

    Oilman: I’m hoping this is the way Katz runs the show as well. But considering that he’s loathe to finance the arena on his own, I’m not sure he’s a guy that’s gonna be what we want in terms of farming out money.

    Granted, I know you’re looking at a vast difference in terms of the dollar amount, I’m just trying to figure out how he’ll work.

  25. Scott says:

    If Brian McCabe gets traded, can we officially bury the ‘bury him in the minors’ approach? Once that NMC is done, if we don’t want him, he can be moved easily.

    Even now, he can be moved (just not so easily and the ugliness is probably not worth it).

  26. Traktor says:

    I think Souray is a competitive guy and is going to have some stuff that he will want to prove, much like Visnovsky. I can see him coming to camp with a big chip on his shoulder (no pun intended) and a mindset to make an impact. At the very least he should fill the Greene loss (see elbow to Kesler’s face) and make greasy players like Burrows think twice.

    If Souray can come out and play 80 healthy who knows? We have more potential on our PP than a newborn baby and if it clicks and Souray nets 20 jeans, who is to say he isn’t worth the money? Obviously not throwback fans but don’t be a playa Hejda, hate the game, it’s the GBHL and the PP wins games.

    Pro-rated 82 games:

    22 goals 32 asssists 54 points -18 157 PIM

  27. Oilman says:

    definitely – I think he could be moved and the Oilers would do that before the minors option – I’m just saying, if the concern over Souray’s contract is it may cause us to lose one or two future stars, then I think it can be dealt with rather easily.

  28. Moose says:

    For what it’s worth, I saw Souray last night – he plays on Monday nights with Chelios, Anson Carter, and a bunch of guys from CAA out here in L.A. at the Kings’ practice facility. My beer league plays around the same time as their weekly game.

    He looks none the worse for wear in terms of the shoulder, but lets just say the legs weren’t in mid-season form. He just looks so SLOW some times. Did make a couple really nice passes to set up goals. I’m assuming he didn’t want to kill any of those rec league goalies ‘cos he wasn’t using the gun, but he might also be taking it wasy on the shoulder.

  29. Ribs says:

    How’d Anson look?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    HAHHAAHAHAHAHA!

  30. oilerdiehard says:

    there was a quote from someone that said the Oilers offered a mill more per season than the nearest competitor.

    Dennis – Montreal offered and Souray turned down 5.5M per season on a 4 year contract.

    Here is a mention of it.

    Also a quote from this link: “Think in terms of where the team would be had Souray accepted Gainey’s 4 year 5.5 million dollar annual salary.”

    After Souray turned it down they offered the exact same contract to Hamrlik.

    I just thought I would point that out. Since I see that claim that no one offered anywhere near the same amount repeated a lot.

  31. Dennis says:

    That’s from a blog though and I don’t see any quotes from Gainey or Souray that such a thing was offered.

    Then again, maybe I didn’t read far enough down:)

  32. oilerdiehard says:

    Here is a mention of it in the French version of TSN.

    Another mention here

    Just wondering when a player turns down a deal. Does the player or the GM who offered the contract usually run around telling reporters exactly how much was offered and says you can quote me on that? Not something I recall seeing very often. So there likely are no quotes from Souray or Gainey.

    While I was looking for that. I found an interesting Mirtle blog entry with estimates of what the upcoming 2007 UFA D men will command. Souray is listed in the 5.5-7 million estimate range. No reason other than it is interesting the numbers people expected.

  33. Bruce says:

    Souray is listed in the 5.5-7 million estimate range.

    Nice dig, ODH. I guess this means we actually got Souray cheap at a mere $5.4 MM, eh, Dennis?

    :-D

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