Your token rumor of the day: Sheldon Souray

01Jun07

In between Ducks victories, um, Cup final games, the usual trade and free agency rumors are starting to pop up. On XM’s Hockey This Morning, Mike Bossy threw another log on to the fire by reporting that Montreal’s supposed offer to Sheldon Souray was around the $4 million mark.

If that’s the case, I don’t even know why Montreal bothered other than to save face with their fans by saying they at least TRIED. In reality, Souray may be worth that much considering what a defensive liability he is (remember when Sandis Ozolinsh was considered just a fourth forward?), but stats = money in pro sports, and any team desperate enough has got to think that it’ll be worth at least 500k more than Markov because of Souray’s 19 power play goals.

Souray’s a bit of a gamble for any team involved; sure, most of the Habs players, including Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder, had atrocious +/- ratings. However, when you look at the defensemen, it stacks up like this:

Mike Komisarek +7
Andrei Markov +2
Mark Streit -5
Francis Bouillon -10
Mathieu Dandenault -8
Sheldon Souray -28

Souray’s a power play specialist (48 of his 64 points were on the man advantage) and a thrill-a-minute (the bad way) at even strength. Andrei Markov’s $5.75 million average is overpaid, but I’d have a tough time giving the same money or more to a guy like Souray who only brings value to special teams UNLESS you have a roster commited to team defense and you can pair Souray with a steady stay-at-home guy who allows Souray to play rover. If that’s the case, Souray can bring his worth as a boost to suffering power plays.

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3 Responses to “Your token rumor of the day: Sheldon Souray”

  1. 1 Mike

    Souray falls into the category of a ‘puck-moving defensemen’ something that is coveted in the league now. I can’t imagine him getting less than $6M per year.

    Don’t you think with a different coaching strategy he might play differently? If you put him on a Dave Tippett or Ken Hitchcock team, I have a tough time believing he would be -20. Montreal was in the bottom half of the league in scoring. I think it’s possible that Guy Carbonneau just said to Souray, “go out and make things happen”. With Markov and Komisarek (and the ever-stalwart Josh Gorges), maybe he figured he’s moderately covered on the d-side of the blueline.

  2. 2 Mike Chen

    I totally agree — I think Souray would be worth that money IF he’s surrounded by the right system and right partner. Otherwise, the same thing’s going to happen.

    That being said, Souray’s not exactly a leader in mental toughness. I’d be curious to see how he reacted to a ball-busting coach like Hitchcock.

  3. 3 Jordi

    The funny thing is that the power play seemed to be what the Habs were good at when they were sort of good. And Souray can be worth a bit if he can be classified as a “veteran”. I would love to see Souray accept peanuts but if Markov makes more money than him, I don’t think his agent will be pleased.

    And hey, there was a time people wanted the C to be given to Souray, a guy who showed “heart”. He wanted Army to bleed post-Koivu hit.


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