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.
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.