Oilers Won't Move Visnovsky, But They Might Move Souray

There is a bit of speculation that the Oilers are currently shopping Sheldon Souray and an eastern conference team has interest.

First off, considering the source of where these rumors started, I don't put much weight behind it being true. That said, if the Oilers are in talks of any kind to trade a big name, big money defenceman; it will be Sheldon Souray who gets asked to waive his no trade clause before Visnovsky goes anywhere.

Lubomir Visnovsky is now second in Oilers scoring with 22 points. He has 7 goals, a terrfic plus/minus - + 11 rating, and he's playing over 20 minutes a game. Lubomir Visnovsky has been everything the Oilers had hoped he'd be and more when they moved Stoll and Greene to obtain him from the Kings.

Last year the Oilers felt the same way, but when Visnovsky went down to injury, the Oilers didn't get to bask in the glory of a great trade, but instead saw how quickly the team took a downward spiral when he was absent from the roster.

Add to that Visnovsky leads the Oilers in shots on net and that's no small feat considering he's picky about when he releases his canon of a shot. You can tell by his 17.9% shooting percentage that he's not just raining bombs that aren't hitting the target.

Visnovsky has found a favorable d-man pairing in Ladislav Smid and while Smid has improved leaps and bounds as a defenceman, I attribute a lot of that success to being paired with Visnovsky. You can tell these two have found chemistry and the Oilers would be silly to break that up.

Meanwhile, Souray has come back from his injury and played well. He's not been the Souray that dominates and scares the opposition on the powerplay like the Souray we know, nor the Souray fans crave for, but I have a feeling that time is coming.

The problem is, the Souray everyone is waiting for, is one dimensional. The Oilers know where they need him to contribute, and teams know where they need to be to stop him. Souray doesn't come close to having the foot speed, quick thinking, offensive talents that Visnovsky does. It makes Visnovsky much harder to contain and as a result a better overall weapon.

One thing Souray seems to have that Visnovsky might not (at least not as much) is trade value. So despite Edmonton wanting both defensemen, Souray will be the one the Oilers explore in possible trades, knowing by moving him, they stand to get the most return.

If you're Sheldon Souray, what do you do if the Oilers come asking? With a no trade clause, he has a great deal of control, but he's also been outspoken in his critiscm of coaching, fans and his teammates. His comments haven't been disrespectful or mean spirited, but represent what can only be a truth as he knows it about the situation he sees himself in.

Perhaps convincing him to waive his clause if the right deal presents itself won't be as difficult as people think.


I would miss his hits and mean nature. I understand that he is about the only value that the oilers can dangle for trades but... kind of hope the rumors are false. Especially for the russian brothers in montreal. That would be terrible.

December 8, 2009 at 7:40 AM comment-delete

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