Rumors today have the Columbus Blue Jackets interested in bad boy Sheldon Souray. The article is here. The money quote is this one: The Dispatch has learned that there have been internal conversations within the Blue Jackets about trading for Souray, a three-time All-Star with record-setting power play ability and one of the most fear slap shots in the NHL.
The Oilers badly need to cash Souray for a useful NHL defender. Mike Commodore’s name has been mentioned (in the article and elsewhere) as a possible return, but I’m not certain it would be the way to go. Commodore’s salary ($3.75M times 3 years) is a lesser annual deal than Souray’s ($5.4M times 2); however, the extra year makes for a less attractive option.
A lot of contracts come due summer 2012 (UFA: Hemsky, Penner; RFA: Gagner, Brule); that extra year for Commodore may well look identical to the Vandermeer deal today: no big deal, Oilers needed a vet depth D anyway. However, if money is too tight to mention come Canada day 2012 then the Commodore contract could be a bother.
I think it might be more prudent to wait until the trade deadline. Teams will be dealing for a rusty (but unhurt) Souray and the contract will be one year from expiry. Also, if there are rumblings about acquiring Souray already, maybe the club won’t need to wait that long.
Commodore is a veteran, useful defender coming off a poor season. If Steve Tambellini deals Souray straight up then its a deal worth defending. If there are ANY young players going the other way the deal shouldn’t be made at all. The return on Souray should address the future, avoid tying up money beyond 2012 and if possible help the current group. That last item should certainly be the least important.