Given how seamlessly Sheldon Souray has fit in with the Dallas Stars this season, it's easy to forget that his relationship with the Edmonton Oilers did not end well. And that's putting it very, very mildly.
The relationship between Souray and the Oilers turned toxic after Souray expressed public displeasure with the management of several injuries, and the Oilers brass banished him to the minors for a season. They bought him out of his contract last summer, which enabled him to sign as a free agent with Dallas.
Because of the screwy scheduling, today marks the Stars first trip to Western Canada this season, and the first chance for Souray to meet the fans who may very well hold a grudge. But his former teammates and even the Oilers coach had nothing bad to say about him.
"He played hard for us," said Sam Gagner, who called Souray a strong and valuable teammate. "It was tough to see it go down the way it did at the end, you never like to see that. It’s good he’s been able to come back and play the way he has."
After the jump, more on today's game against the Edmonton Oilers, a look back at the month of February and the most amusing shootout fail of the season.
- Souray's name was one of those being bandied about at the trade deadline but in this paywalled article, Mike Heika talks about why he's happy to stay here despite the opportunity to possibly go to a higher-profile team. [DallasNews.com]
- A very busy month of February turned into a pretty solid 16 games for the Stars, even after a bit of a rough start just out of the All-Star break. [ESPN Dallas]
- Todd over at Thursday Morning Cupcheck got a chance to hang out with much of the team earlier this week, and he has the video and incriminating photos to prove it. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- Best of luck and a quick recovery to the Pittsburgh Penguins Kris Letang, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms after being hit by Eric Nystrom on Wednesday. Even though the hit was clean, as was verified by the NHL on Wednesday, I always hate to see guys get hurt and hope he's back soon. [WTAE.com]
- Speaking of that hit, the ensuing post-game discussion between Jeremy Roenick and Mike Milbury was awkwardly hilarious, but it was also not the pinnacle of quality hockey broadcasting we'll see this season. [Jerseys and hockey love]
- Maybe Souray followed these guidelines on how to integrate himself into the Stars locker room. [Backhand Shelf]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: As a young team, the Oilers are not one of those groups that gets the benefit of the doubt on calls like some of their more veteran counterparts. And like the Stars earlier this season, they are trying to learn that whining about it to the refs does you no good. [Edmonton Journal]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: The Oilers are in the end of what's become a little bit of an interminable rebuild. And while the tone of this article is one of optimism, it also seems like the pieces on defense are about three years away. And given that development is far from predictable and injuries and other nasty surprises happen, that seems like a long time away given how long they've already waited. [Canada.com]
- Around the Pacific Division: The race for the division title got a little tighter on Wednesday as both teams in action struggled. The Phoenix Coyotes finally had their winning streak snapped as they fell 4-2 to the Calgary Flames. And the San Jose Sharks pulled a Kings and couldn't muster one measly goal in a 1-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. [Calgary Herald/San Jose Mercury News]
- Other scoreboard watching: More about the Minnesota Wild game in a minute, though they're so far back as to almost be out of the race. The Colorado Avalanche, however, are not, and they wasted their game in hand in a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. [The Cannon]
- There are times to look for a call with a little extra help for the officials, and there are times when it's probably better to get back on defense. See if you can figure out which of the two applied in the case of Max Pacioretty. [Puck Daddy]
- Thanks in part to the fun with embellishment listed above, the Minnesota Wild were able to scratch at least one point out of their game against the Canadiens. And then, well, Devin Setoguchi did this in the shootout.