Sheldon Souray clears waivers, so what's next?

Thumbnail image for sheldonsouray3.jpgTo the surprise of just about no one, expensive and wayward “Edmonton Oilers” defenseman Sheldon Souray cleared waivers, according to the Ottawa Sun and various other sources.

Now that this formality is out of the way, we move to the $5.4 million question: what’s next? Here are a few of those most realistic possibilities for the injury-prone defenseman with the hellacious slap shot.

  • The Oilers could see if some team would claim him off of re-entry waivers, although that would mean that they would need to cover a portion of his salary and also deal with a sizable salary cap hit … all so he could play for another team. Dallas Stars fans know this scenario well, as the team is paying Sean Avery to agitate people as a member of the New York Rangers.
  • Edmonton might be able to find a trading partner for Souray. Chances are, with Souray’s beefy cap hit and notable flaws, they’ll be required to take one or maybe even two bad contracts in return to make it work. Let’s not forget though, that for all his blemishes, he does bring some compelling pluses to the table. Oilers fans might grimace at the idea of taking on Mike Commodore’s deal (since it is longer and he’s more or less a plugger with a fantastic sense of humor and an even more fantastic ginger afro), but their front office backed itself into a corner and will have to make a compromise to move Souray. Columbus just seems to make too much sense, all things considered.
  • Souray could be given the Wade Redden treatment (banishment to the minors) or the Cristobal Huet deportation (playing overseas). The problem with this idea is that the Oilers are not as deep-pocketed as the Rangers and Blackhawks, so they might not be ecstatic about paying a player that much money to play somewhere else.
  • In a more rational world, the Oilers could have simply allowed Souray to play … even if it was just to increase his trade value or (dare I say it) improve their power play. Oh well.

Asking Souray not to show up for training camp was an interesting choice, but in most ways “interesting” is another way of saying “risky and foolish.” At least in the short term. The one thing you could say for the Oilers front office is that they can point to that moment as a sign that they’re willing to stand their collective ground, even if it produces some immediate pains.

It’s hard to imagine this situation working out well for the Oilers, but maybe the “right people” will get injured and they’ll find a reluctant trade partner. Whichever way it goes, we will keep you updated.

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    The Buzzer: Raanta shutout, Brassard showcase, Blackhawks finally win

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    Players of the Night:

    Antti Raanta, Arizona Coyotes: Raanta shutout Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, stopping all 40 shots sent his way for his first goose egg as a member of the Coyotes.

    Derick Brassard, Ottawa Senators: The Derick Brassard Showcase continued on Saturday night. The Senators forward, who has been the subject of trade speculation leading up to the trade deadline in two weeks, scored in his fourth straight game and added two helpers in a 6-3 win against the New York Rangers.

    Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights: Smith extended his point streak to seven games, scoring twice and adding a helper in a 6-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens. Smith has five goals and seven assists during his streak and now has 51 points in 58 games this season.

    Anders Nilsson, Vancouver Canucks: Nilsson turned aside 44 of the 45 shots he faced from one of the league’s hottest teams in the Boston Bruins. The Canucks obliged their goaltender, scoring six and chasing Tuukka Rask in a 6-1 win.

    Jonathan Toews and the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks: Losers of eight straight coming into Saturday, the Blackhawks finally ended the streak, putting up seven goals against the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals. Toews had a goal and two assists in the game. It was Chicago’s first win of the month and their seven goals were half of the number they scored in their previous eight games.

    Eddie Lack, New Jersey Devils: Lack wasn’t supposed to be playing against the league’s top team. But there he was on Saturday, stopping 48 of 51 shots against Stamkos, Kucherov and Co. He even out-dueled Andrei Vasilevskiy, who will likely win the Vezina in June. Impressive stuff.

    Highlights of the Night:

    Ryan Hartman, untouchable:

    Nikita Scherbak’d:

    Matt Murray did this two nights ago. Deja vu:

    Two-pad stack alert:

    Factoids of the Night:

    The season can’t end fast enough for the Oilers:

    The Golden Knights are creeping toward another record:

    Evgeni Malkin hits 900:

    MISC:

    Scores:

    Kings 4, Sabres 2

    Ducks 3, Wild 2 (SO)

    Senators 6, Rangers 3

    Coyotes 1, Oilers 0

    Golden Knights 3, Canadiens 3

    Devils 4, Lightning 3

    Penguins 5, Maple Leafs 3

    Red Wings 3, Predators 1

    Blackhawks 7, Capitals 1

    Canucks 6, Bruins 1

    Panthers 6, Flames 3


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    Blackhawks fans tossed after racist taunts toward Capitals’ Devante Smith-Pelly

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    Four Chicago Blackhawks fans were kicked out of Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals at United Center after racially-charged taunts were made toward Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

    Smith-Pelly, serving a five-minute major for fighting in the third period, got upset with a fan next to him who, according to the Washington Post, was chanting, “Basketball, basketball basketball,” toward Smith-Pelly, who is black. 

    “There’s absolutely no place in a game of hockey, or a country, for racism,” Trotz said after the game. “I think it’s disgusting. There’s no place for it. The athletes in this country don’t deserve that. It just shows ignorance.”

    Trotz said he hadn’t spoken with DSP about the incident, but said he was upset and his teammates had been talking with him.

    DSP did not speak with the media following the game, which the Capitals lost 7-1.

    February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

    The Blackhawks issued a statement following the game

    ““We were made aware of an incident at tonight’s game involving a small group of attendees who made harmful comments directed at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly,” a Hawks spokesperson said. “The fans were immediately removed and we apologize to Smith-Pelly and the Washington Capitals organization. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated.”


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    Should Miles Wood be suspended after boarding Vladislav Namestnikov? (video)

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    Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang

    He won’t have much of a defense, it would seem.

    New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood took off his responsible thinking cap on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    In the second period, Woods came barrelling in on the Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov. The latter had already ushered the puck up the ice, and with his back turned to Woods, the Devils sophomore appeared to leave his feet, driving his shoulder into the nameplate of Namestnikov’s jersey.

    If that wasn’t enough, Andrej Sustr came in to defend his teammate and paid the price at the hands of Wood, who broke his visor with a punch, leaving Sustr bloodied.

    Wood was given a boarding minor on the play and an additional two minutes for roughing after he left Sustr in a mess. It wouldn’t be at all shocking if Wood is summoned by the NHL’s player safety department.

    Both Namestnikov and Sustr had to leave the game, but both returned in the third period.

    The Devils won the game 4-3. Guess who scored the game-winner…


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    Cam Talbot, furious with overturned goal, launches expletive-laden tirade

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    Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang

    Cam Talbot wasn’t too happy after losing to the bottom feeders of the NHL’s Western Conference on Saturday afternoon.

    The Oilers, who have Connor McDavid, couldn’t manage to score a goal against a team that’s given up the third most to opposing teams this season.

    And the goal they appeared to score to tie the game 1-1 in the third period was eventually overturned because of goaltender interference.

    Video review confirmed that Patrick Maroon impeded Antti Raanta’s ability to move his blocker side arm freely, a call that Talbot took exception to following the game.

    “It’s extremely frustrating, to have what seems like every single one of these calls go against us in the past two years is just unbelievable,” Talbot lamented to the media. “I’ve never seen anything like it. We challenge a goal, it stands. They challenge a goal on us for some reason it’s always waved off.

    “I just don’t understand it, it’s the exact same play that we had last week against L.A. where the guy clips my blocker. We challenge and it’s still a goal. Last year in the playoffs against  Corey Perry, same play, takes my blocker with him, puck goes blocker side and it’s still a goal on us. There’s just no consistency and I’m f***ing sick of it.”

    Answering another question, Talbot continued to drop f-bombs speaking to Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Journal.

    “The fact that every single goal is disallowed against us and every single call or every single time we challenge it’s still upheld. I don’t f***ing get it. They’re the same f***ing plays every time and for some reason, the call goes against us these past two years. We haven’t won one challenge in the past two years. It’s ridiculous. I just don’t get it.” 

    This looks one part frustration and another part sour grapes. There have been some blown calls this season, for sure, including against the Oilers.

    Here.

    Here.

    And here.

    But this one the Situation Room got right.

    Meanwhile, Talbot’s Oilers were shutout for the seventh time this season. They continue to wildly underachieve, despite having names like McDavid and Draisaitl. And they have to watch former teammates like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle light it up with their new teams.

    Sure, Talbot and Co. can blame it a host of external issues. But he and the Oilers have to start looking within. They didn’t become bottom feeders because a goal got overturned.


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck