The divorce between the Edmonton Oilers and Sheldon Souray appears to be getting messy.
Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini confirmed sending formal “divorce papers” in an email to Sheldon Souray’s agent last night, Monday, informing the disgruntled Oiler D-man that he’s not welcome at Edmonton’s upcoming preseason training camp.
The decision, said Tambellini, was made to avoid what he perceived would be a distraction to the team were Souray to attend.
Tambellini has been trying to deal the veteran Edmonton-area born blueliner for months, following Souray’s public tirade over what he claimed was his team’s mishandling of their blue chip defensive “asset”. Unfortunately, Souray’s contact, which has $9M remaining on it over two years, has handcuffed Tambellini, who had hoped to deal the man with the booming slap shot over the summer, at the NHL Draft and/or on UFA Day, July 1. Neither happened, leaving the Edmonton GM in a pickle.
Souray, 34, has since responded to media, noting his “disappointment” on the decision, and seemingly a willingness to patch things up and be a part of the positive vibe surrounding the team, as it commences with its rebuild process. Last season, Souray was dogged by post-concussion symptoms, before fracturing his hand during a fight with the player who gave him the concussion the result of a dirty hit from behind, Calgary Flames’ Jarome Iginla.
Souray noted, however, that he’s now in good health and ready to contribute. Currently, he continues to skate with Oiler veterans at an Edmonton-area rink.
It appears, as though, Tambellini doesn’t share Souray’s conciliation, and is anxious to send his “asset” packing. Much like Souray’s ill-timed comments that started the decline of this relationship, Tambellini may very well regret the decision to keep Souray away from camp, denying other GMs the chance to see the healthy blueliner on the score sheet once again.
I’ll be addressing the Souray issue in my seasonal preview, which I’ll post here in the next few days.
In the meantime, Oiler fans, chins up…sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.