Sheldon Souray Not a Bad Fit for the Rangers

EDMONTON, CANADA - FEBRUARY 1: Sheldon Souray #44 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Nashville Predators on February 1, 2009 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

Larry Brooks’ story of the Marc Staal re-signing briefly mentions the Rangers might be looking into obtaining defenseman Sheldon Souray from Edmonton.

Back when Souray was a free agent in the summer of 2007, it always seemed liked he was waiting for an offer from the Rangers.

The offer never came so Souray signed with Edmonton and since then, the Rangers have been involved in lots of Souray trade rumors.

Souray hasn’t seemed the same player since he signed with Oilers. It’s tough to say if he’s gotten older (and injured) and lost some of his game or if the drop in his productivity is a side-effect of playing for Edmonton.

But the Rangers have long been in search of a powerplay quarterback who can shoot with some degree of accuracy from the blue line. Michael Del Zotto will probably own that role in the future, but for the present, he still seems a little susceptible to pressure from an aggressive penalty kill.

So Souray could represent an interesting interim solution. And he could serve as a good mentor for the Rangers’ young defense.

Of course, the big stumbling block to Souray is that the Rangers are already over the cap. To fit him, they’d have to trade defenseman Michal Rozsival, a long-time favorite of new Oilers coach Tom Renney, but also a very expensive one, and waive Wade Redden, which seems to have been the plan since the end of last season.

As long as no one is laboring under the impression the Souray the Rangers obtained would be the same one who was a powerplay miracle worker in Montreal just a few years ago, he could be an interesting piece for a team that often goes long stretches depending upon its defense for goals.

The other factor that works in Souray’s favor is his age. For all of the Rangers’ talk of a youth movement, at the end of the day, the franchise is more comfortable with older players.