Thursday, July 12, 2007


Souray An Oiler

Can we trust this story this time? If so, a few thoughts:

a) how much, and for how long? How badly did we overpay?
b) will LT finally be happy, or at least content, with our defence?
c) we will now have three "puck moving defencemen" (Pitkanen, Tarnstrom, and Souray). Does this deal make Tarnstrom, to some extent, expendable?
d) will the local and national media finally shut up about people not wanting to play here?
e) are any of his relatives part-owners?


I just heard this...depending on the contract we'll know soon enough.

Umm, can anyone else smell the desperation on both sides?

Umm, can anyone else smell the desperation on both sides?

Fine by me if it means we didn't overpay too badly. It's not like we offered $5.5 million a year to Michael Nylander. That would be insane.

At least we now know who the Oiler's representative for this year's all-star game will be...

Honestly I would have preferred Yashin to Souray. It does seem like a bit of overcompensation on Kevin Lowe's part, this off season he's fixed last year's problems and the year before that's problem as opposed to our current problem of lacking offense and vetrans at forward. Now we have plenty of puck moving defenseman, good goaltending and power play quarterbacks but our forward depth is rather questionable.

Five years, $27-million

Thanks, James.

Honestly I would have preferred Yashin to Souray.

Holy crap, what did Souray ever do to you??

Holy crap, what did Souray ever do to you??


Will Souray be as valuable to the team as Ryan Smyth? 'Cause that's the money Lowe believed Smyth was worth.

'Cause that's the money Lowe believed Smyth was worth.

Actually, it's more than he thought Smyth was worth. Don't get me started on that again.

Souray can obviously shoot the puck. And he's a tough player, which this team needed more of, especialli with Gator going to Philly. But can he play defence? The knock on him is that he can't. RiversQ, Vic, Tyler, any help on this?


Smyth for Plante, O'Marra, Nilsson, and Souray.

Oilers lose the deal, I think, but it is not horribly lopsided.

We actually might have a viable powerplay this year. But how many goals do we give up when he's on the ice 5 on 5? Yeah, we need some stats on this guy, stat!

You know what's sad? Becuase it's the only option available at 4pm, I'll be listening to Stauffer for more info.

This city needs some kind of sports audio blog. A podshow, so to speak.

{/seed planted}

While Souray wasn't my first choice, I'm warming to the idea.

D-Men getting paid similar or more $$s that I would take Souray over 99 times out of 100:
Chara, McCabe, Jovo, Blake, Hamrlik, Schneider

Next to these guys (and Timonen's $8MM) Souray looks like a steal.

Yashin at least plays left wing - colour me uninspired by Raffi Torres as the top line left winger of this team. And I'm not suggesting I would want a long term deal with Yashin, just an over pay for a couple years to shore up the forwards while our propsects develop.

But can he play defence?

Well... he's certainly not as awful as that reputation he's got, but then again, he's going to need someone solid as a partner.

Souray's PK numbers from last year are pretty darn decent. (And they seemed to score a lot shorthanded when he was out there.)

Many people in this city, and on this blog, said that Ryan Smyth was too old at 31 to get $5.5 million over 5 years (not I, of course). I wonder how many times we'll hear that over the next couple days? Very little, i would say.

Dejardins has Souray's On/Off Ice +/-for last year at -1.28, which is pretty stinky. He's around the middle of the pack for playing against Quality Opposition. His PP +/- per 60 rates are top ten. And his PK +/- per 60 rates aren't bad, either. So my completely uneducated guess is that he got killed at ES last year. Others will provide much more insightful commentary on his defensive play, to be sure.

Phone conference on CHED right now for any who want to listen, or the Oilers website.

Hey Andy - I have no numbers and very few examples to back this up, but I think that the longevity of defencemen is generally higher than that of the gritty/power forward. So the age thing is relative in my opinion.

So, does this mean Souray becomes the new captain? I just can't see Staios or Moreau, both 3rd liners getting the C. Or does it go to Horcoff?

Good call, I still think if the Oil had made Pronger the captain when he signed that first year then he'd still be with us. God rest his soul.

I jus heard that the deal is $6.5, $6.5, $5.5, $4.5, and $4.5. Can anyone confirm seeing this in print?

No way Souray becomes Captain. My sense is that it will go to Horcoff, but we may not hear it for awhile because they are likely considering moving him.

Tencer has those numbers up, and Stauffer repeated them on his show too. Tencer was just on with Lowe so I imagine he has this right...

I think those are the right terms, Andy.

Awful deal.

So if the Oilers are able to overpay for a player who is good on special teams and horrible at even strength (meaning he's best used as a situational player), can you tell me what exactly Edmonton needs a downtown arena for? To pay Sheldon Souray $7 million a year?

puck moving defencemen

Jesus H. Christ, for all the bellyaching I hear about why the East needs to stop snubbing Western players at the awards and stay up late to actually watch Western teams play, have you EVER seen Souray play?

Souray can barely move himself, let alone a puck.

He's a Howitzer on the PP and a liability at all other times. No more, no less. Think: poor man's Bryan McCabe.

And Souray's now getting McCabe money -- which everyone crucified John "great GM one day" Ferguson Jr. for handing out two years ago.

Net result? Bad signing.

have you EVER seen Souray play?

I guess the quotation marks around the words "puck", "moving" and "defenceman" didn't help you out.

Good post by Showerhead on the subject up at IOF.

Oilers defensive depth chart looks like this:


Anyone care to guess at pairings?

5.5 is a steal when you compare it to the Hamrlik signing. I was expecting an absurd amount for Souray. Like 7+ million. Good move for the Oil.

Anyone care to guess at pairings?

I was thinking Souray-Greene, Staios-Pitkanen, Tarnstrom-Smid. Greene and Smid could trade places, I guess, but all alternatives involve either a pairing with two young guys or a pairing with two offensive guys.

I was thinking Souray-Greene

Should we give that tandem the nickname "Slug & Snail" right now, just to get it over with?

I can't wait to scream, "Souray Greene is made out of people!!!" at the television all year.

Souray-Greene would be a nightmare.

I think the Oilers will pair their new acquistions together once everyone gets comfortable with one another. Pitaken's puck movement and Souray's toughness will compliment each other nicely at EV, then split the two up and let them each run a PP.

I don't think Souray's defence is going to be as bad as it was on the Canadiens. Nothing to base that on, just have a feeling Huddy is going to work some magic.


In a Prongerless world, that's a pretty strong defensive lineup.

In a Prongerless world, that's a pretty strong defensive lineup

Keep telling yourself that. It will help numb the pain you feel come October :-)

I'm an Oilers fan. I don't feel pain anymore.

Chris! - I doubt it. I think the Oilers are fully expecting Pitkanen to take on big minutes in all situations and play quality opposition - for better or for worse (his track record in PHI indicates that he may be OK against good players at ES, at least passable). Souray just can't hack that, and no one else but Staios has even close to the resume required for that role. I would assume Pitkanen and Staios line up together.

Let us all pray that Grebeshkov is Hejda vol. 2 this season. We already know that everyone else is incapable or not ready to take on big minutes at ES. I'm amazed that MTL threw so many ES minutes at Souray last year -- I guess their bottom pair really really sucked.

Looking at their 06-07 results via behindthenet, I'd have to assume the PP minutes will go to Souray, Pitkanen, Tarnstrom in that order; the PK minutes to Staios, Pitkanen, Souray, Greene in roughly that order. Either that or one of these young guys makes major strides unexpectedly. I can't imagine they are stupid enough to think Greene can take on anything but bottom pairing minutes, so I imagine Smid will get a hefty ES workload too *gulp*. If Laddy Smid is likely your third best option at ES, your team's defense sucks.

*Souray Greene is made out of people*

See, after all of this, we can all still laugh.

What I want to see is if Simpson can fuck up a PP where he can run out Souray plus Tarnstrom or Pitkanen on the point and Hemsky and Horcoff up front.

I say he does so with flying colours.

so I'm first to admit that I have not watched Souray play very much... but going into free agency I thought he was a bad idea ... now though that he's our leading goal scorer I'm willing to take what we can get. I do still have a few reservations though.

He's played for a while and last year was his only 40+ point season.

He was -28. Lupul on D.

I was thinking Souray-Greene initially too, but then read on TSN his scouting report (check player profile page) that says he cannot pass well or rush the puck well. Those seem like significant problems for and offensive defensmen. They might need to pair him with some that can skate it. You think Smid's ready?

I've been thinking


Initially, the Souray signing looks good. But check out his career stats. He just happened to play 81 games and score a bunch of points on the last year of his contract. The key there especially is that he played 81 damned games!
He is majorly injury prone.

Souray has been playing in the NHL for 9 seasons. Last season he scored 26 goals...that is 39% of his career total. His 64 points last year were 34% of his career total.
I smell a fish. Either he is hitting his prime, or he's one of those guys that disappears after he is shown the money, OR he was not always given the decent amount of ice time.

jeremy -

TSN his scouting report (check player profile page) that says he cannot pass well or rush the puck well

Him and Greene should get on famously then. :)

Anyway, it'd be nuts to hold Smid's head underwater for the entire last season and then turn around and give bigger responsibility to that donkey Greene. Matt's done zero zip zilch to suggest he can handle anything but the 6D-hole.

What I want to see is if Simpson can fuck up a PP where he can run out Souray plus Tarnstrom or Pitkanen on the point and Hemsky and Horcoff up front.

Oh, he'll definitely f**k it up.

That, Andy, goes without saying.

ES+ / ES- (on ice events)
Souray: 32 / 61
Markov: 47 / 43
Hemsky: 32 / 32
Horcoff: 38 / 53

PP+ / PP- (on ice events)
Souray: 59 / 5
Markov: 46 / 5
Hemsky: 29 / 3
Horcoff: 25 / 2

Souray blows at ES (so did Montreal), but is a monster on the PP.

Was a monster on the powerplay. If there is anyone who can ruin a man's talents on the PP, it's Craig Simpson.


Thanks for the numbers, anon.

Considering that there's only one play on the PP with Simpson (get the puck to the point) Souray should see good PP numbers, and Stoll might be the one who suffers with a little less PP time.

Souray: 32 / 61


Here's a rumour I'm starting:
Cal Nichols makes a $1MM 'donation' to SS's father, with a request that his son says some nice things about Edmonton and the Oilers.

There's no way that he's saying all these great things about the city or the organization without being coached (or coaxed).

Just in case anyone cares.. Souray has NTC for the first three years.. so says sportsnet..

For what its worth... I'm betting Bergeron scores more points and has a better plus/minus than Souray at the end of the year.

I'm happy they got someone though.

Still need some help up front. Are we desperate enough for Yashin or Allison. I say yes... but not to both. How about Morozov?

Yea Jeremy I think we are in that sort of desperate place. I'd be okay with a three year deal with Yashin for 4 mill a year or so. He can probably lazily score 25-30 goals a year relying on Hemsky to do most of the work. Allison can still play on the powerplay although I'm not sure we want to add someone that slow to the mix at even strength.

Yashin'a agent says he wants full market value, even with the buyout. In other words, I don't think Alexei Yashin will be in the NHL next year. What an idiot.

Even Strength
The team got 4% fewer goals for with Souray on the ice.

The team allowed 15% more goals against with Souray on the ice.

Power play
Ryder and Koivu were 9.7GF/hour on the power play
Souray was 8.7GF/hr
I'm not sure what the PP "together" percentage were, but this shows that the forwards were driving the PP results and not Souray.

Based on "Player Contribution"
Souray has scored 60-70 in three years I looked at. ($3 - 3.5M). He's been pretty stable.

My analysis shows that Souray was lucky this year and scored 13 "extra" goals and he received 2 more assists than expected. (~+15 lucky points)

Sorry the power play stats should be:

Ryder and Koivu were 10.5GF/hour on the power play
Souray was 9.7GF/hr

I was real excited about this signing - then I remembered Craig Simpson still runs the PP


Crap! How do we trade Craig Simpleton?

I wonder if Carol Alt is saying "Alexi! There's no way I'm moving to Siberia!"

Trade Simpson? That would be heavenly. But no one is taking that turkey. We'd have to pay someone to take him off our hands.

Moreau should be Captain.

Why yes, I will just be shutting the fuck up forever about that Aucoin contract now. Thanks for asking.

Could be worse, Cosh. We could have that contract AND Joffrey Lupul.

javageek: "...but this shows that the forwards were driving the PP results and not Souray."

I disagree. Souray had more PP minutes than Koivu/Ryder because (being a top PP defenseman) he spent time on both the #1 and #2 units. His time with the #2 PP would drag his numbers down. The Habs PP had great synergy last season - a side effect of Souray's shot was the room it created for the forwards down low.

Unfortunately there was also this weird negative synergy with the Koivu line/Souray pairing at ES. They were blown out of the water and Souray was a big part of it. For some unexplained reason Carbonneau gave Souray second-pair defensive duties. Maybe his defense will come around - he is a late bloomer - but don't hold your breath.

His fighting ability is understated. I've never seen him lose. Way early on in his career he even took on some true heavyweights.

Thanks for the info, Jeff; I figured the conclusion that the forwards were driving the bus was a bit sketchy without full context.

I said it on LT and I'll say it again: business in the front, party in the back. But at least we've replaced Gator's toughness, so the D won't be completely submissive in the face of anything other than a passive forecheck.

Solve for x:
10.5*x+6.5*(1-x) = 8.7
x = 55%

In order for Souray's PP numbers to make sense 55% of his time should have been spent with Koivu (10.5GF/hr) and 45% with the second unit (6.5GF/hr). Even if their second unit was a 4GF/hr, Souray would've had to spent 30% of his time with that unit to have his statistics. And not improve either unit when he played with them...


He hurt the unit statistically speaking when he was on the ice.

And remember Souray got 53 extra seconds of PP time per game compared to Koivu...

The top unit got 4 minutes.
Second unit got 2 minutes.

As I say, I don't know his percentages, but Souray was useful, but he wasn't the difference maker.

That being said, I doubt that Koivu will repeat their PP stats this year simply because 10.5GF/hour is unsustainable (there's only one or two players per year who get that statistic). Last year the highest score was 9.3GF/hr and Ryder scored at 7.3GF/hr, Souray was 6.6GF/hr.

Solve for x:
10.5*x+6.5*(1-x) = 8.7
x = 55%

Didn't you say his was 9.7GF/hr?

So wouldn't x = 80%? That at least has the added benefit of jiving with his 53 extra seconds, anyway.

Andy & Matt: why is that my blog gets all of the trolls? I thought this was the site for Falmes fans...

Hey, wanna start making "Calgary Stabpede"jokes?

I think the jokes about the "Battle of Alberta: CFL Edition" should also begin in earnest.

Calgary- Points For: 60

Points Against: 106

"Contrary to a rumour going around the net today, i jusy got 100% conformation from a high- ranking Sabres official that the Buffalo Sabres did indeed file their papers for Vanek last friday at 10:30 am. Sorry Edmonton fans."

-Eklund said


Eklund is full of sh*t.

He reported that bit of news "magically" - as Team 1260 reported that Vanek's agent said the offer sheet was matched/signed 7 hours (July 6th) after Vanek signed it.

He reported that bit of news "magically" - as Team 1260 reported that Vanek's agent said the offer sheet was matched/signed 7 hours (July 6th) after Vanek signed it.

It was my understanding that Stauffer was the one who brought the whole thing up the day Souray signed.

Maybe the reason why players do so bad is we crucify them before they even take to the ice. No matter what anyone says, Pitkanen and Souray scored 40 more points than all the oilers d men combined last year. That can not have a negative effect on the team that was dead last in scoring. As far as Pairings go, I would have to say:

Staios and Smid played all year together last year and when Staios was healthy they were the best pair on the ice. Smid started to really come into his own in the 20 game losing streak and I really believe this will be his breakout year as a top defender and expect him to crack top 2 by seasons end.
I also think this will be a good season for our D because I saw some really good things from Gilbert and Roy and I believe that they will keep the pressure on the rest of the guys to perform.

Overall I am not to upset at getting a solid D man with a cannon from the point. Can you Imagine Stoll and Souray on each point and Hemmer saucering passes for the one time.

Ya never know Oiler fans, last year we expected 300 plus goals and got a dud. This year everyone is already making tee times for April, Maybe a bit of luck can come to Oil Country and we can surpisingly do a lot better defensively than we all think.
Let's Go Oilers.
Remember, things could always be worse, we could cheer for the falmes.

Smid started to really come into his own in the 20 game losing streak

It's a wonderful time to be an Oiler fan when a sentence like this appears in an optimist's view of the situation.

I surprises me that no one has brought up the fact that this may enable them to move Stoll from the point to a forward position. Can you imagine Hemmer's options if he has Stoll on the other half boards - Cannon from point, cannon from side boards with Stoll also decent at digging the puck out. Or do Hemsky and Stoll have to be on the same side of the ice?

Overall I am not to upset at getting a solid D man with a cannon from the point.

He does have a cannon from the point. He is most certainly not a solid d-man.

Can you imagine Hemmer's options if he has Stoll on the other half boards - Cannon from point, cannon from side boards with Stoll also decent at digging the puck out.

I know. And with Smytty in front, the PP is going to be...

I don't think I'll ever recover. I really don't. I'm scarred for life. I wonder if I could take Kevin Lowe to court on this one.

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