Every Tuesday at PHT, we’ll pump a player’s tire. Because every player likes it when nice things are said about them.
This week’s tire pumpee: Sheldon Souray, Dallas Stars
For a guy that spent the 2010-11 season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, Souray boasts some pretty good NHL numbers. In 11 games with the Stars, he has three goals and five assists. And if you care about plus-minus, his plus-8 is the league’s best among defensemen.
It’s been a challenging road back for the 35-year-old with the booming shot. This summer he signed a one-year, $1.65-million contract in Dallas with hopes he could rejuvenate an NHL career that had seen him play in three all-star games.
Souray’s best season came in 2006-07 when he scored 26 goals and added 38 assists for the Canadiens. The following summer he signed a five-year, $27-million contract with the Oilers. After three injury-filled seasons in Edmonton, however, Souray requested a trade.
“Yes, I do want a trade,” he told Sportsnet.ca. “It’s not a players’ thing. It’s not a fans thing or a city thing. It’s a management thing. They’ve given up on me, and it’s a two-way street.”
To which Oilers head coach Pat Quinn replied, “If you don’t want to play here, don’t screw around. Get the hell out.”
Souray was eventually put on waivers, and when nobody took him off the Oilers’ hands, he was sent to the AHL, where he had 19 points in 40 games with the Bears.
On July 1, Dallas offered him the chance to play in the NHL again.
“I felt at some point I’d get another opportunity,” Souray told the Star-Ledger recently. “I was hoping I would and then I would make the most of it.”
Indeed he has. Although when asked by the Star-Ledger if he ever took his NHL career for granted, Souray’s answer suggested he still harbors ill feelings about his time in Edmonton. Even if he didn’t exactly say it.
“I never really took things for granted,” he said. “The only thing maybe you take for granted is I played for two organizations that were maybe two of the best in the league in New Jersey and Montreal with the way they treat their players and the respect they have for their players. That maybe you take for granted, but not playing in the league.”
In other words, the Oilers don’t treat their players very well.
But that’s in the past now. Souray had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Devils that improved the surprising Stars’ record to 8-3-0.
Sheldon Souray, everyone.