The Edmonton Oilers finished their season in somewhat expected fashion Sunday, falling to Anaheim in the final game of the 7-2. The team looked wholly disinterested and seemed to be more concerned with just finishing the season and heading out to the golf course, then attempting to close out the season with any form of dignity.
Turns out we had no idea exactly how ready some of these players were to move on.
After the game, Mark Spector of Sportsnet was able get some very revealing and candid thoughts from defenseman Sheldon Souray, who is publicly demanding a trade.
“I do,” Souray repeated, sounding a little disappointed at the admission. “Yes, I do want a trade.”
“It’s not a players thing. It’s not a fans thing or a city thing. It’s a management thing,” Souray said. “They’ve given up on me, and it’s a two-way street.”
He also accuses the team “management’ of forcing Souray to play when he had not fully recovered from injury, leading to further injury on his shoulder that caused him to miss 55 games.
There’s no doubt that Souray would have been traded at the deadline had he not suffered a broken hand and had to be hospitalized with an infection in late February. Now, there is an absolute certainty that he will be traded. This is not the sort of damaged relationship that can be repaired, and Souray is a valuable player that can yield decent assets in a trade.
There is some sentiment that Souray hasn’t been completely innocent in this affair, however his accusations of being forced to play through injury are extremely serious. The knock on Souray is that he is too injury prone to be considered a top-level defensemen and if there’s a chance that the Oilers management contributed in any way to his struggles then it will be interesting to see what value he commands from other teams.