RE 09-10: Sheldon Souray

A look through the history books shows Sheldon Souray’s 08-09 season was exceptional. His 12 powerplay goals were the most by an Oiler defender since Paul Coffey (he holds the Oiler record with 14) and his 23 goals overall is the highest total since Coffey’s historic 48-goal season in 1985-86.

That’s some hallowed ground.

Souray’s shot from the point is as sure a thing as there is offensively on this roster. If it’s on the net there’s every chance the puck will go in unless it hits the goaltender. It’s a missile.

  • Boxcars: 81gp, 23-30-53 98pims
  • Shots: 268
  • Plus Minus: +1
  • Corsi: -1.3
  • 5×5/60: 1.18
  • 5×4/60: 2.95
  • GF/GA ON: 53-51
  • Quality of competition: tougest available
  • Quality of pairing: 2nd level
  • 09-10 cap hit (capgeek): 5.4M
  1. What do these numbers tell us? His shot from the point is money. Money, money, money. No one in the wild, wild west was better than Souray in terms of goals scored and there’s no reason to believe he’ll fall off suddenly if he can remain healthy. Sheldon Souray is an exceptional offensive weapon. The numbers also show he played tough opposition with less than top drawer help and came out pretty much even plus-minus and Corsi. Although I maintain Visnovsky is the club’s best defender because of a wider range of skills, one could argue for Souray (he is a more physical player and can load the cannon). His 5×5 and 5×4 numbers are not team-bests but as with Visnovsky we should give credit where due and allow that in terms of established levels of ability the veterans have the edge at this time.
  2. How could these numbers be better? I have no earthly idea. Luck maybe? You’d have to be an idiot to be disappointed with these numbers. Maybe he could take fewer penalties but that’s really nitpicking.
  3. What about injury? Long list over the years. Wrists, feet, knees, shoulders. Still, he has played complete seasons in three of the last four years and wouldn’t appear to be a poorer bet than Visnovsky save for the fact that he does play a more physical style.
  4. What about a trade? I believe his no-trade now has limited possibilities in terms of trade destinations and the Oilers will move someone in the next 12 months (top heavy on the blue and I imagine the team will sign Grebeshkov long term next summer when one of the big three is gone). If the Oilers are out of it at the deadline (and we should be prepared for a season-in-the-ditch if things break wrong) Souray might be a huge trade chip.
  5. Will Quinn play him against tough opposition? MacT did and so will Quinn. He’s big, bruising, can punish people and his weaknesses (he’s not a terrific defender on the opposition rush due to mobility and he’s not an expert passer) are covered off several times with the other D. So he could reasonably be paired with at least three defenders (Vis, Grebeshkov, Gilbert) and get results.
  6. How will Quinn play him? As I mentioned in the Lubo post, there’s a chance they go freak show on the PP and line the vets up for cannonating drives from the point to open up the Hemsky freeway down low. It could happen.
  7. How Important is Souray to this team? We’re about to find out. If Souray doesn’t get traded and the Oilers have a big season then I think he’ll be here for a long time. Souray is already approaching icon-status in our town and a year in which he helps the club into the second season would stamp his future here.

Predictions past 2008-09

  • Predicted: 51gp, 10-17-27 (.529 per game)
  • Actual: 81gp, 23-30-53 (.654 per game)

Prediction for 2009-10: 66gp, 17-25-42 (.636 per game)

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19 Responses to "RE 09-10: Sheldon Souray"

  1. hunter1909 says:

    The only depressing part about Souray is his being injury prone.

  2. Ribs says:

    If it's on the net there's every chance the puck will go in unless it hits the goaltender.

    Hehe…if it weren't for those damn tenders getting in the way.

    Souray is the guy I'm most excited about this season. I think Quinn is going to rely on him heavily and he is going to have a great year offensively. I just hope Quinn realises his limitations as MacT did or we'll end up seeing him getting eaten up on the highlight reel every other night due to exhaustion.

  3. bookie says:

    One benefit of a player like Souray is that his shot becomes a focal point for the other team, thus opening up other options for the rest of the team.

    Of course it helps if you actually have your team members do something other than rely solely upon the cross ice pass to Horcoff or the shot from Souray.

    Here's to a more dynamic power play this coming year!

  4. NBOilerFan says:

    Was our best leader last year…. hands down.

    Love the toughness and confidence he brings every night.

    And I am almost ashamed to admit how giddy his huge blast from the point makes me. It's second only to sir Hemsky’s elite stick handling wizardry.

  5. speeds says:


    I had some PP thoughts here.

    Regarding Souray in general, it'll be interesting to see how Quinn uses him on the PP. I'd probably prefer to see Souray on the 2nd unit, not sure about Quinn's view of the PP.

  6. Schitzo says:

    I get a slightly awkward erection every time he gets mad enough to drop the gloves

  7. Jonathan Willis says:

    Last season was Souray's best as an Oiler, and I have to admit that I had a blast watching him play.

    He's got a nasty edge to him that's beautiful to see in front of the net too, and I really can't blame the fans that have fallen in love with this guy, based on last season.

    Here's my problem, aside from his injuries: this is the first time in his career that Souray has scored more than 35 points without also posting the worst +/- on his hockey club.

    In other words, this was the best season of his careeer, and by a lot, at the age of 32.

    If he does it again, I'll believe it. On the other hand, there's every possibility that he reverts to Montreal form and if that happens this team will be in a ton of trouble.

  8. dave says:

    I agree that lubo is the most complete d-man. But I would be trying to move Lubo, we are closer to covering off his skills in Grebs and gilbert. We don't have anything close to covering what Souray brings….

  9. Scott says:

    How many defenders have come here and had career years? It applies to veterans and youth, top pairing and bottom.

    I hope it wasn't all Charlie Huddy, the one member of the coaching staff I had hoped would stay. And if it was, I hope his lessons, once learned, stick with the players he's had. Because it's conceivable our top 4 stays together for a couple more years.

  10. rickibear says:

    agree that lubo is the most complete d-man. But I would be trying to move Lubo, we are closer to covering off his skills in Grebs and gilbert. We don't have anything close to covering what Souray brings….

    No Souray is! But you are correct about everything else.

    The six Dmen top 50 in all


    If you add Hits and blocks top 50

    Then only Chara and Seidenberg.

    Lubo is the only Dman top 15 in points and GA in the whole league. But we need PK. Gilbert and Grebs are better on the PP.

    I would move Lubo to Columbus for Tyutin and Picks. And sign Seidenberg.

    A Defensive Top six of:


    Makes me smile!

    The only problem is Staios. Unless he becomes top 10 pk again.

  11. DBO says:

    on another note Marcel Goc just signed in nashville for $550K. He's a guy I would have liked to see in our 3/4C position. I know we are tight against it, but that is one hell of an affordable signing for a solid two way player with some grit. Come on tambellini, i know you are afraid to make a mistake but I really hope you are at least in on some of these discusions.

  12. geowal says:

    unrelated to souray:
    Interesting poll on the Oilers website, "who do you think is most likely to grab a spot on the Oilers line up for 09-10.

    Brule: 29%
    Eberle: 34%
    Shremp: 19%
    Peckham: 12%
    Chorney: 3%
    Other: 2%

    Looks like the masses have a lot of belief in flash and dash. I really hope Eberle isn't thrown into the NHL this year. Still a lot of Shremp support out there too.

  13. Steve says:

    I chose "other", referring to Ales Hemsky.

    Seriously, what a dumb poll.

  14. geowal says:

    I went with Brule, and otherwise would have went "other" w.r.t. Potulny

  15. raventalon40 says:

    I chose other as in Ryan Stone.

  16. Asiaoil says:

    So much for all the dire predictions of Souray being certain to die against tough opposition. At the time of the signing I though he had a better than average chance of playing the best defense of his career in EDM since bringing out the best in dmen is one of the few strengths of this org. He's done that and kept the offense plus he's physically intimidating which is a major weakness on the roster. Nuts to consider trading him – make him captain for Pete's sake.

  17. Scott says:

    Here here!

  18. Bruce says:

    Hear hear!

  19. Scott says:


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