There’s bad decision making, and then there’s piss-poor Sheldon Souray type decision making. When the Edmonton Oilers loaned Souray to the AHL’s Hershey Bears it was so that the exiled defenseman could maybe show an NHL club that he can play. Any potential suitors for Souray would have wanted to see that a) he can handle himself in his own end b) he could still unleash a slapshot unlike many others ever witnessed and c) he can still play with some semblance of a physical edge. Physicality, of course, being defined by well timed hits and keeping bodies away from the front of the net and pinching in when it’s needed. That last thing that management in Edmonton wanted to see was Souray dropping the gloves with an AHL middleweight like Matt Clackson.
Souray is expected to miss at least two weeks of AHL action after reportedly breaking his hand during Saturday’s fight with Adirondack’s Clackson. Two weeks with a broken hand normally wouldn’t be the end of the road for anyone, but in the case of Souray it could severely limit whatever waning interest any team may have had in the oft-injured defenseman. What’s worse is that it’s not the first time Souray has busted his paw in a scrap, as David Staples documented in his brief rundown of Souray’s Oilers’ era injuries: Sheldon Souray fractured his wrist last season in a fight with Calgary’s Jarome Iginla.
There was probably an inkling of hope that Souray would just concentrate on playing hockey in Hershey. Hershey provides as much spotlight as the AHL has to offer, and it was a more competitive fit for the former all-star than Edmonton’s own farm team in Oklahoma.
The decision to fight Matt Clackson, a marginal minor league hockey player, could spell the beginning of the end for Souray. What was there to prove by fighting in a minor league hockey game? His manhood? What say you, has Souray extinguished whatever glimmering hope he had at catching on with another NHL club? What about the Oilers, are they stuck with this dunderhead now?