Tuesday Tire Pump: Sheldon Souray

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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.

The Buzzer: Kempe, Schwartz record hat tricks; Leafs honor Gord Downie

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Players of the night: Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues / Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings

The Blues forward tallied his third career hat trick during a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Schwartz scored the game’s first two goals before completing his hat trick with a late empty-net goal to stave off a Chicago comeback.

Wednesday’s feat for Schwartz came three years to the day of his first career three-goal game.

Kempe, meanwhile, tallied his first NHL hat trick and finished with four points during LA’s 5-1 rout of the Montreal Canadiens. Two of his three goals were assisted by Mike Cammalleri, who also finished the night with four points.

Highlight of the night:

Eddie Olczyk returned to the NBC broadcast booth as he continues his battle against colon cancer. Olczyk, along with Doc Emrick, called the Blues-Blackhawks game from Scottrade Center Wednesday night.

MISC:

Auston Matthews recorded the 20th multi-point game of his career. He now has six goals and 10 points on the season.

Patrick Marleau became the 18th NHL player to reach the 1,500-game mark.

Jake Allen kept his shutout bid alive with this great stick save on Patrick Kane late:

-The Kings are off their best start in franchise history at 5-0-1. They’ve allowed only 10 goals against through six games.

Jeff Carter left the game in the first period and did not return after tangling with Jeff Petry. Afterward, Kings head coach John Stevens said the forward will miss some time.

-Finally, The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie passed away from cancer at age 53 on Wednesday. The Maple Leafs paid tribute before their game against the Red Wings.

Factoid of the night:

Scores:

Maple Leafs 6, Red Wings 3

Blues 5, Blackhawks 2

Kings 5, Canadiens 1

Cammalleri, Kempe power Kings over Canadiens

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Adrian Kempe recorded his first career NHL hat trick and Mike Cammalleri added two goals as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-1.

After Paul Byron opened the scoring for Montreal midway through the first period, the Kings responded with five unanswered goals to hand the Habs their sixth straight defeat.

Cammalleri, who inked a one-year deal over the summer to return to the Kings, had a hand in four of LA’s five goals. He started the scoring for the Kings in the first period by celebrating the Dodgers’ playoff run with his own special kind of baseball swing.

Kempe, who finished with four points as well, scored his three goals over a span of 10:50 in the third period to help the Kings to their best start in franchise history (5-0-1).

LA remains the only NHL team yet to lose in regulation this season.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Jaden Schwartz’s hat trick leads Blues over Blackhawks

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Jaden Schwartz‘s third career hat trick helped power the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in a Central Division clash Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.

Schwartz’s eventful evening began with a goal 4:46 into the first period. It was nearly ended minutes later after a scary crash into the end boards following a scoring chance.

After missing some time, Schwartz returned in the second period and doubled the Blues’ lead with his fourth of a season, thanks to a great outlet pass from Allen.

As the Blues built up a 4-0 lead, the Blackhawks spoiled Allen’s shutout bid with a pair of late power play goals 80 seconds apart. The furious rally was stopped, however, and Schwartz capped off his hat trick with an empty netter to put the game out of reach.

St. Louis dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Blackhawks 26-8 as they built up their 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks’ power play failed them early in the game, missing out on five chances to capitalize with the extra man through 40 minutes.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Kings

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The Montreal Canadiens play their second game of a three-game west coast trip Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

It hasn’t been the best start for the Habs, who sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference with a 1-4-1 record. They’re winless since an opening night win over the Buffalo Sabres. On the other side of things, the Kings are the only NHL team that has yet to lose in regulation. Their 4-0-1 start puts them a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, and their game in-hand gives them the opportunity to leap into first place in the Pacific Division with a victory.

You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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