Sheldon Souray clears waivers, goes nowhere


sheldonsouray1.jpgThis may come as a shock to many of you out there, but it appears that the 29 other teams in the NHL had no interest in picking up defenseman Sheldon Souray off of waivers.

Souray is in the midst of a five-year contract with Edmonton that runs through the 2011-12 season. The no-trade clause on the deal has expired.

“I understand the business side of things and I hope things work out for both the Oilers and for myself,” Souray told TSN on Friday when he was first placed on waivers.

After all, a guy who’s coming off a season which saw him miss time for both a concussion and a broken hand and has a cap hit of $5.4 million over the next two years can’t be considered a steal by anyone. Had this move occurred during the regular season, you could bank on Souray being sent down to the AHL and then Edmonton rolling the dice on bringing him back up through recall waivers to see if anyone would take a chance on him and have Edmonton end up paying for it. Instead, the Oilers are just stuck with a very expensive player they’re trying to help get out of town.

“Maybe it accelerates some action here. This is the time of year where (teams) do have some roster spots open, some cap space available. We would thought we would explore this opportunity to see if we could make something happen,” general manager Steve Tambellini told the club’s radio rights holder.

The only way Steve Tambellini is going to get Souray out of Edmonton is by taking on another team’s bad contract(s) in return. With Souray’s injury history, acquiring him is a huge risk. Souray will either play a full season and be excellent (the way he was in 06-07 and 08-09) or he’ll miss huge amounts of time and frustrate everyone in your organization (like he did in 07-08 and 09-10). A team willing to take a chance on a guy like that can always happen, just not at that price.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.