Sheldon Souray

Report: Souray rejects Dallas’ one-year, $3 million offer


According to Andy Strickland of True Hockey and the Fan 590 (who, it should be noted, was the first to report yesterday’s Chris Stewart signing), Sheldon Souray has rejected a one-year, $3 million offer from the Dallas Stars.

If accurate, it’s an interesting play from Camp Souray.

The 35-year-old rearguard has stated his desire to stay in Dallas after a successful comeback season. Souray posted 21 points in 65 games while averaging over 20 minutes per night — after spending 2010-11 in the minors — and did it on a one-year, $1.65 million deal.

At the time, the contract was as beneficial for him as it was for the Stars. It gave Souray the opportunity to show he could still play at the NHL level, and it gave Dallas a top-four defenseman for a bargain basement price.

Now, it appears the situation has changed.

Logic would suggest Souray’s seeking longer term (read: anything more than one year) rather than more money, as he’s been something of a nomad over the past three seasons, going from Edmonton to Hershey to Dallas. He also must figure there are suitors out there, given 1) the temporary salary cap rising to $70.3 million and 2) the UFA class lacking impact defensemen.

That said, he’s something of a risk given his age. Souray qualifies as a 35+ contract now, so any team that signs him is on the hook for the entirety of his deal.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen