At first glance, the words Fleischmann for Souray would appear to bear as much truth as an Eklund (e3) rumour. Given Souray’s injury history and general shittiness, that’s a fair assumption — BUT — As Peter Adler of the Edmonton Journal reported on Thursday, the Washington Capitals are believed to be in talks with two teams regarding Tomas Fleischmann. Those two teams are reportedly the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.
The Capitals, by most accounts, are looking to add a veteran defenseman. If Fleischmann is heading to either of the two aforementioned cities it would be in exchange for Sheldon Souray or Kevin Bieksa. The Oilers have been trying to move Souray for months now, although, it is likely that any deal involving the 34-year old will likely have to include one of the Oilers speedy young forwards. Andrew Cogliano seems to be the likely candidate to join Souray in a deal with the Capitals.
The addition of Souray would certainly give the Capitals the veteran presence they are seeking, but as anyone familiar with his play can tell you: his defensive abilities leave much to be desired. Fleischmann, a former Detroit Red Wings draft choice, is coming off of a breakout 51-point season. Like most of his Washington teammates, Fleischmann’s play during the club’s brief playoff appearance this past spring was absolute shite. Regardless, “Flash” signed a 1-year $2.6 million deal with the Capitals in July.
It’s hard to say what the Capitals see in Souray, other than the fact that he’d be another handsome devil to compliment Mike Green on the blue line. That would be one helluva defensive duo back there (read: no defense). Perhaps there is no explanation necessary, it’s like debating the true meaning of the Wisconsin Long Ass — not to be confused with the Arizona Long Torso (or “Top Tall”) — just let it be. The initial thinking among Oilers’ faithful was that the return for Souray would be minimal, at best. It’s all the more reason to think that Cogliano would be involved in a Souray trade.
As Adler pointed out yesterday; “Fleischmann is well aware of life in western Canada, having played his junior hockey in Moose Jaw, before spending a few years at Hershey in the AHL.” In most cases a young player’s familiarity with area as expansive as Western Canada would have little bearing on any proposed deal, but with a seemingly general disinterest among high-profile players to move north (fabricated by media or not) it’s a bit of bargaining power for the Oilers if Washington is looking to appease the 26-year old Fleischmann in any way.
If I can interject my own opinion, I’d take this deal and run if I were Steve Tambellini. Souray has two years left on his contract that comes in at a $5.4 million hit per (all numbers via CapGeek), and on top of that he’s publicly slammed management and let’s face it… he’s kinda junk. Fleischmann would give the Oilers a boost of finesse that may work out well for “That Troublesome Third Line” and their special teams. Although, if the Caps opt to go the route of Bieksa or continue to explore their options, then it could very well be Souray-for-life in the City of Champions.