Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oilers and Souray Reach Deal

Sheldon Souray the defenseman formally of the Montreal Canadians signed with the Edmonton Oilers today according to TSN of Canada. Terms were not yet disclosed.

This is big news for New Yorkers as the two-time all-star was rumored to be going to all three local teams.

The Rangers who are near the salary cap have been rumored to be attempting to free up space all week long in order to add Souray. As of this morning Carolina and New York newspapers have been reporting a move which would send Matt Cullen back to Carolina in order to free up space as a near done deal. It will be interesting to see if a move is made now that the Oilers have grabbed the point-man. In addition to rumors of the Rangers attempting to move Cullen there has been speculation they will try to dump either Marek Malik or Paul Mara as well. They are still looking for an impact blue-liner.

The Islanders viewed Sheldon Souray as a missing piece to getting back to the playoffs. A task which could be out of reach since their retooling started with the buy-out of Alexei Yashin and since things have not exactly gone to plan. The Islanders lost offensive defenseman Tom Poti to Washington this summer and will need to replace his points.

The Devils seemed to be the most obvious of the three as they need an impact blue-liner after unexpectedly losing Brian Rafalski to the Detroit Red Wings. Souray was drafted by the Devils in 1994 and played there for 3 years until he was traded for Vladimir Malakhov. The thought of bringing Souray back was attractive although he does not quite fit into their defensive system.

Souray set career highs in goals and assists last year with 26 goals and 38 assists. He is known for his searing shot from the blue-line and his ability to quarterback a power play. He had 48 points on the power play last season another career high and his 19 power play goals are a NHL record for defenseman.

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