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Sheldon Souray Blasts Oilers’ Ownership in Revealing Interview

Sheldon Souray was not kind when describing how the Edmonton Oilers handled his serious hand injury and worked out of town.

Let’s just say, former Edmonton Oiler defenseman Sheldon Souray might have nice things to say about new management in Edmonton (specifically Ken Holland), but he’s not a fan of the owner and he has little fondness for his old bosses, a couple of people who he believes were petty to send him to the AHL as he finished his run with the Oilers. Not only that, but they accused him of “milking” and injury and trying to work his way out of town.

In a candid and eye-opening interview on the Dropping the Gloves Podcast, Souray absolutely blasted the Oilers and their then-management team over the way they handled his life-threatening injury and he loathed how they tried to paint him as the bad guy on his way out of town, even treating him worse than Chris Pronger, who for years was enemy No. 1 among Oilers fans. Souray discussed a hand injury that turned serious and was the beginning of the end of his run with the organization.

The recent podcast interview unveiled a more comprehensive narrative of how things went down when his hand was injured, including the Oilers forcing him to have an Edmonton-based specialist do the surgery and then botch it up. After he became seriously ill from the medical work being poorly done, he wound up in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for four days and was told that not only was there a chance he could lose his hand, there was concern about an infection spreading to his heart. When he asked about management and the coaching staff being kept up to speed as the team was on the road, he was told by a trainer that management believed he was “milking” an injury so he didn’t have to play for the Oilers again.

Not only had the situation escalated in terms of the severity of his injury, but so did his relationship to the team as he immediately called them and unloaded verbally on executives for accusing him of trying to get out of his contractual obligations. He said not only did he not get support during his medical leave, but when he trained to return and play until the team could successfully trade him, they didn’t even invite him to camp, instead arranging an assignment in Hershey of the AHL. He called it petty and said their attempts to paint him as a ‘spoiled brat’ was the end for him.

In his exit interview with the team, he said he tried to fight Steve Tambellini and said of the organization and the facilities back in that time, “It was a dump, it was the worst place in the league. I had conversations with Kevin about the standard in Montreal. The standard is good as anywhere in the NHL, maybe the best.”

Souray’s Run Was a Disappointment All the Way Around

Souray’s run with the Oilers will be remembered as highly disappointing and not at all what the organization was hoping for when they signed the defensemen to a massive contract. He never lived up to expectations coming out of his run with the Canadiens and his departure from the team when things went sour was painful to watch.

Souray never really rebounded in the NHL after that. He played games with the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks before retiring in 2013. His one bright season with the Oilers was in 2008/09 when he scored 23 goals and potted 53 points in 81 games.

That he wasn’t invited to the final game at Northlands (Rexall Place) but Pronger was just shows how much that relationship deteriorated.

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