Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 25 or more games this season (and are still with the team) and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.
#44 / Defenseman / Dallas Stars
Jul 13, 1976
|2011 - Sheldon Souray||64||6||15||21||11||73||2||1||1||179||3.3|
Key Stat: 13 - That's how many of Souray's points he scored in the Stars first 14 games, including four of his eventual six goals. Stars announcer Daryl Reaugh didn't christen Souray "Studly Wonderbomb" for nothing. The Stars biggest defenseman has an absolute cannon that he used early and often, especially in the early part of the season. In fact, the Stars might have wanted him to shoot more, especially on the power play, but the cannon took a while to load up and release. As penalty killers started to focusing on him and taking away the slapper, the Stars power play suffered and never really got back on track.
The Good: When Souray was good, he was very, very good. The veteran was signed to a bargain $1.5-million contract after languishing in the minors for a year after a falling out with the Edmonton Oilers. And he made a huge splash early in the season with that cannon from the point. Even though the points didn't continue to pile up over the rest of the season, he provided a physical presence and veteran savvy on the back line that was often missing. When healthy, he was one of the Stars better defenders. For a guy they plucked off the NHL trash heap, it was a heck of a return, and he surely earned a spot on an NHL roster somewhere next year.
The Bad: That pesky phrase, when healthy. Souray didn't miss a huge number of games, but he was hobbled by a foot injury for much of the second half of the season, and it showed in his game. He wasn't the fastest guy in the league to begin with, and the injuries really did hamper his mobility as the season wore on. As mentioned, he also picked up most of his points early in the year because teams started to overload his side of the ice. And he was one the main offenders in the "takes too many stupid penalties" category.
The Bottom Line: Given that even halfway decent defensemen cost an arm and a leg in terms of cap hit, Souray was a huge bonus for a cash-strapped team. A low-risk/high-reward signing was a very substantial reward for the Stars even considering some of the issues he had and the way his production dropped off. The team sorely missed him when he was out with injuries, and he seemed to be a fairly well liked, if well razzed for his choice of hair products, guy in the locker room. The biggest question is does he have a place on this roster next year with some of the defensive prospects the Stars have in the system.
The Vote: Rate Sheldon Souray below on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season he was here. Vote after the jump.