When approached with Sheldon Souray’s complaints and trade demands in April, Edmonton Oilers coach-turned-advisor Pat Quinn didn’t soak his words in PR-speak. To paraphrase Quinn, he said if Souray didn’t want to be there, then “get the hell out.”
The Oilers couldn’t find a trade partner for Souray this off-season but instead of attempting to give him a chance to mend the fences or at least improve his value, Edmonton’s official Twitter account dropped this bombshell just moments ago.
Statement from #Oilers GM Tambellini: Souray was informed last week that he will not be attending Training Camp. More details coming soon.
It’s funny that the team went in that direction, because Souray was saying all the right things earlier today, at least to the TSN staff and other reporters.
“Things that I said, that’s five months ago,” Souray told TSN. “We are in a completely different spot now and there is a lot of optimism.”
“It’s not awkward at all for me,” Souray said. “I just stated some of the facts that I was feeling at the time and that’s it. To come back and see the guys is actually a positive thing. Once you kind of get around that camaraderie with the guys that I haven’t been around since January of last year, it just picks up your spirits.”
Souray admitted that part of his frustration was his inability to help the team after missing more than half of last season with a broken hand and concussion issues. He said that he is now completely healed and is ready to get back in action.
“I’m a professional and I’m going to come to camp and try to help the team whatever way I can,” said Souray. “I’ve got to get myself back to the player that I want to be. It’s been a frustrating past three years for me because of injuries that I’ve had to deal with.”
It’s a summer of distinct change in Edmonton, but this is still a bit of a shocker, especially considering the fact that the team is handling the Nikolai Khabibulin situation with kid gloves. Apparently the team must consider Souray a cancer in the locker room, because this is a pretty harsh move even after a rough season and some not-so-nice exchanges.
Will the Oilers trade him or put him on waivers or something else? That much is unclear, but we’ll keep you updated as more news trickles through.