The Market for Sheldon Souray
Since they're almost a lock for the draft lottery, the only remaining drama in Edmonton is what players general manager Steve Tambellini will look to move before the March 3 deadline. Veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray is most likely on Tambellini's list.
Souray, however, has a no-trade clause until this summer. If the Oilers do want to move him before the deadline, they need to get his permission first.
That means the deal has to be right.
There are reports that Souray has submitted a list of teams he would consider a trade to. He's not tipping his hand on the list, so we're simply left to speculate.
While he's considered a top offensive defenseman, Souray has struggled this season, right along with the rest of his teammates. With just four goals and nine assists in 34 games, it's not a complete lock that teams will be knocking down Tambellini's door looking to pick up Souray.
Also, Souray is likely to be picky about his next destination. His kids live in Los Angeles, and it makes sense that he would want to be traded to a West Coast team.
If he has a better chance to win a Cup in New Jersey, would he make the long move to the opposite coast? It likely depends on how many bites he gets from western teams.
Despite their lack of cap space, it makes sense that Souray would have San Jose on his short list. Location means Los Angeles and Anaheim are probably on it. Of these teams, Los Angeles is the most likely, because they have cap space, a glut of young players, and could use some more experience to solidify the blue line for a playoff run.
Anaheim, meanwhile, still has a huge hole on their blue line from the Chris Pronger trade. With Scott Niedermayer not long for the hockey planet, there is a chance Souray could become the top defenseman on the team by next year.
What if Souray was willing to move one time zone away from his kids? Colorado is having a fantastic year that can no longer just be considered a hot start. Kyle Cumiskey's six goals lead all Avalanche defensemen, so they could use an offensive boost there. While Souray is not having a productive year, he is a known goal-scoring threat among defensemen.
If Edmonton doesn't move Souray by the deadline, they can wait until this summer and not be tied down by a no-trade clause. That said, this truly bad team has no need for a player like Souray, and the classy thing to do would be to move him now and give him a chance to salvage his season while potentially helping a contender get over the top.