Souray Speaks...With Some Regret In His Voice

From an audio file on Dan Tencer's blog, I got to listen to some of what Sheldon Souray had to say to the media after dropping the bomb that he wants out.

Much like I posted yesterday might happen, Sheldon rehashed a few things, but slightly back-pedalled in his comments admitting his feelings toward management as a possible moment of weakness on his part.

First of all, from the report by Mark Spector and the comments made today, Souray has yet to outright demand a trade. He simply let everyone know he wants to leave thanks to some poor communication since his arrival and especially over the past two months. That's he's more disappointed in what he thought it would mean to be an Oiler than anything else.

Souray did respond that if a trade isn't completed or not possible based on what's best for the team, he would return. "It's not like I won't come back here." Souray said. "September is a long time away and I'm still currently under contract".

That is an attitude which is a far cry from the tone of Spector's article, which made Souray out to be a man possessed to hurt management and the organization to get him on the first boat to another destination.

Does Souray still want out? Yes. Are the Oilers already planning to try and move him? Sure. But more and more, this is starting to sound like a player who was having somewhat of a tantrum over how he felt management was mistreating a big time free agent and someone Souray personally felt did more to endear himself than he was given credit for. Souray was probably right.

The problem here was the communication, to which Souray admitted might have been partially his own fault. That he, "is not the type of guy to just call management up and get something off his chest.". And that's too bad, because now, it's as if a couple teenagers were on the verge of a break-up, thought one was going to say one thing, the other something else and instead of talking to each other to find out, posted their moodiness all over facebook. Now of course, whether what each respective party was actually feeling was known by the other or not, the comments have soured the relationship.

A reconciliation is possible, but for sure less likely.

I think what bothered me the most from the audio clip I heard, was the lack of the media to really drill Souray over comments that while possibly fair, have to hurt the team and his teammates going forward.

I didn't hear a "Do you think this helps your trade value? Why would you do this?" or a "Don't you think that your teammates will be hurt by this in the long run based on what the team might now be able to get in return for you when other GM's know you want out?" "Why now? Does this timing have anything to do with your no-trade clause and wanting to pick your destination?" All of those would have been fair questions to ask, yet weren't.

They essentially gave Sheldon a free pass and for someone who made an effort to hurt the Oilers, right or wrong, he should have had to in some way, had to face the music.

In the long term, this changes little for the team, except to continue an increase in the organizations already negative image across the NHL and its players. Souray was going to be shipped if a buyer was available and possibly for little just to move his contract.

The Oilers are in a major rebuild and the other names that are now popping out of the wood works like Hemsky and Penner, were already names the Oilers were and are willing to talk about in trade with other NHL teams. If they're bent out of shape knowing that, Sourays comments won't he.p or hurt the situation.

In the end, this is just a too bad situation. I think from his tone, Souray knows it, from the fact Tambellini, Lowe and Quinn all called Souray immediately following the comments, they know it and the fans know it.

As Souray said, it's a good thing September is in fact a long time away.


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