As per Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Sheldon Souray is available to anyone who will claim him off re-entry waivers. Right now, the only team linked to Souray is the Rangers, and the Oilers will not put him on re-entry waivers unless he is guaranteed to be picked up b y another team. Apparently, Edmonton General Manager Steve Tambellini does not want the veteran defenseman around his young Oilers team at all, and will not consider a recall unless he is going to be claimed.
Although the Rangers were rumored to be interested in Souray, Mark Spector of Sportsnet writes that scouts left unimpressed with Souray. According to Spector, Souray was being routinely beat by the opposition in the AHL, and his speed was becoming a huge negative for the big defenseman:
“You want to like him,” said a source familiar with the Rangers activities over the weekend. “But you can’t deny what your eyes are seeing.”
I spoke with Greg Manning of Hershey Bears Hockey, who had some nice things to say about Souray. It looks like Souray is Hershey’s version of Wade Redden. He comes to play, he has not been a locker room cancer, and the team has not been negatively affected by his presence. According to Greg, Souray still has his big shot and physical presence, but probably couldn’t slide into a top-four defenseman role. He also comes with an injury concern, as he has only played 22 games this season.
Souray might have been an answer a few years ago, but he is clearly not the answer anymore. It’s sad too, because all Souray had to do was impress, and he was bound for New York as a second chance. So it looks like the Rangers dodged a bullet here, as Souray’s $2.7 million cap hit (from re-entry waivers) would have been an issue heading into an off-season with several key players hitting restricted free agency. The Rangers are going to have to look elsewhere for a solution to the powerplay woes. I’m still holding out for Bryan McCabe, depending on asking price of course.