Who wants Souray the most?

Oilers blue-line big gun likely on the move before trade deadline

By Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray isn’t saying what clubs he would play for and waive his no-trade clause, but you can bet these teams are on his list — Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.

The Western Conference teams are because they are close to Los Angeles, where his children are living; the Eastern Conference teams because they are either Stanley Cup contenders, he has a close tie-in (New Jersey with head coach Jacques Lemaire), or it’s the Big Apple.

The Kings seem lukewarm right now and Phoenix has one of the two or three lowest payrolls in the league and don’t want to spend much dough. The Rangers are always in the hunt at trade deadline time and need a bomber from the point, but wouldn’t take Souray unless they could move Michal Roszival, who has a salary cap hit of $5 million for two more years. That seems like a lateral move for the Oilers, who likely want to get younger by trading for prospects or somebody like centre Brandon Dubinsky or defenceman Dan Girardi.

Here’s the better possibilities:

– – Washington: Seems ludicrous on the surface because they already have Mike Green to man their power-play point along with Alex Ovechkin, but there’s a pretty good drop off on their back-end after Green. They could use Souray’s toughness and maybe use him against Crosby and Co. when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have salary cap room ($55.3 million) right now after dealing Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina to Columbus, could deal Souray in the summer if need be, and have lots of prospects, although they wouldn’t deal defencemen Karl Alzner or John Carlson, their best young blue-liners.

– – New Jersey: Maybe the best chance for relocation. Lemaire was Souray’s first NHL coach. He likes him, a lot, and the feeling is mutual. The Devils are certainly a Cup threat, battling for top spot in the East even without defenceman Paul Martin, who’s been out with a busted forearm for months. The Devils need somebody to run their power play. They have cap room and New Jersey always drafts well so they have assets. Reportedly, they would move Swedish forward Niklas Bergfors (27 points, 13 goals) and former world junior forward Matt Halischuk, although the Oilers should maybe hold out for big Canadian junior forward Adam Henrique from Windsor. The Devils would move defenceman Andy Greene (24 points), too.