Some random thoughts as we wonder about how bad things can get for Sheldon Souray.
If it wasn’t enough that the Edmonton Oilers were so desperate to get rid of him, they loaned to another organization’s minor league team and will pay his $5.4 million NHL salary in the meantime, the veteran defenseman got into a fight during a game this week and broke his hand. Souray, 34, is only expected to be out a couple of weeks so that part of it could be worse. But one of the biggest reasons Souray drew no interest on the waiver wire – aside from his salary – was his tendency to get injured frequently.
Meanwhile, Avs goalie Craig Anderson was an iron man in his first season with Colorado last year, but he got hurt from some horse play during the warm-up before Monday’s game in Vancouver. Early reports filtering out of Denver suggest that the knee injury Anderson suffered might not be as serious as initially feared, although that seems a bit optimistic. Anderson twisted his knee awkwardly and looked to be in great discomfort immediately after and as he limped to the dressing room.
Fortunately for the Avs, they’ve gotten off to a decent start, especially considering most of its games have been on the road. But the idea of using backup Peter Budaj for an extended period isn’t very appealing to Colorado.
But it’s not bad enough to make the Avs think about a trade. Still there was lots of buzz these days about potential deals, aided and abetted of course by Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke’s skillful use of the media in the self-proclaimed center of the hockey universe. Burke told a Toronto radio station that he had a couple of solid offers from teams, although he told the same interviewer that anyone would be desperate enough to make a deal quite this early in the season.
Thing is there were some 23 scouts and/or general managers attending games the Coyotes played this week in Montreal and then Ottawa, which got the rumor mill buzzing because of the precarious financial situation Phoenix continues to be in. Coyotes GM Don Maloney didn’t rule out anything on the NHL Live radio show today, although he noted that the rare Eastern visit by his club made it a good time for others to check it out.
“Are we looking, sure, of course,” Maloney said. “We talk constantly, but I wanted to give it 10 games into the season to see where we’re at.”
The 10-game mark, by the way, is the deadline for teams making decisions on where fuzzy-faced freshmen will be at for the rest of the season. Players with remaining junior eligibility can be sent back before playing a 10th NHL game, saving the team a year of their entry level contract. The biggest debate naturally has surrounded Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, the first overall pick last June.
The Oilers organization has dropped hints that Hall isn’t going anywhere despite a very slow start that has seen him pick up only one assist in six games. Chances are a few other teenaged first rounders like Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, Boston’s Tyler Sequin, and when he returns from a broken nose, Anaheim’s Cam Fowler will stick around too.
But don’t be surprised if Atlanta decides Alexander Burmistrov is better off among kids than men for another year and the Islanders come to the same conclusion about Nino Niederreiter. Both play their ninth games Wednesday.