Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is reporting that Rangers scout Doug Risebrough has been scouting the Oilers for the past four games. Naturally, Jim has speculated that the Rangers are interested in Sheldon Souray, who does not have a place in Edmonton any more:
The New York Rangers are likely interested in Souray after dumping Wade Redden’s $6.5-million salary, and not just because Doug Risebrough, their pro scout, has seen the Oilers play four straight games.
The part that doesn’t make sense is that if the Rangers are watching the Oilers for four straight preseason games, games in which Souray has not played, where is the connection between Souray and the Rangers? The Rangers can’t be scouting Souray, he’s not on the ice. Plus, unless the Rangers trade some salary to the Oilers (Todd White comes to mind), then the Rangers can’t fit Souray under the cap at the current moment. It is tough to believe that the Rangers are interested in an oft-injured and past his prime defenseman who simply can’t play defense anymore. What is easier to believe is that the Rangers are interested in someone else on the Oilers roster, someone who has played in preseason games.
The logic here is also very flawed. The Rangers waived Redden, so clearly they need another veteran defenseman, right? If anything, the Rangers have proved to us this preseason that they don’t need another defenseman. They have three kids ready to play in the NHL in Ryan McDonagh, Mike Sauer, Pavel Valentenko to a lesser extent. Why bring on an aging, over priced defenseman? If the Rangers want to keep someone who clears bodies in the crease and has a booming shot, they would keep Valentenko, who is almost $5 million cheaper. They waived Redden because they needed cap space, but yet they are going to take on another $5.4 million contract? It just doesn’t add up.
Naturally, there is going to be the discussion of trading Michal Rozsival straight up for Souray. Souray and his 0.5 GVT, straight up for Rozsival and his 5.6 GVT. Souray and his inability to play defense, straight up for Rozsival and his pretty good defensive play (4.2 DGVT). In fact, Souray’s offensive value is the single most overrated stat in hockey. His OGVT is 0.9, which is less than Rozival’s at 1.4. Not to mention that Souray’s cap hit is $400,000 more than Rozsival’s, and the annual salary is $2 million more over the remaining two years. Again, the logic just doesn’t make sense. The only logical explanation is that the Rangers are simply interested in someone else, and not Souray.