SUN Hockey Pool

Souray a natural fit

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

With Jarret Stoll in Los Angeles, the Edmonton Oilers need another alternate captain and the decision took all of five seconds.

Sheldon Souray, a natural leader from the moment he stepped into the dressing room, was officially sworn in yesterday.

"It's an honour, for sure, but it's not something that motivates me to play any differently," said Souray, adding a leadership role kind of comes naturally.

"I think we've all, at points in our career, been parts of a leadership group. Most guys here have been captains all the way through their careers. It's just nice to be part of a group that has so much respect for each other.

"It's like a band of brothers in here. So for me it doesn't change anything."

With so many young players on this year's team, leadership is a very important ingredient, from keeping them calm to teaching them good habits.

"With Ethan Moreau, Steve Staios, Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky, we have such a strong leadership group," he said. "And the young guys got a lot of good experience last year, they're becoming leaders in their own right."

Three axed on cuts day

The Oilers made their second-last round of cuts yesterday, sending Gilbert Brule, Taylor Chorney and Theo Peckham to Springfield.

They still have to do something with Rob Schremp, but he was in New York attending his grandfather's funeral and it would have been pretty heartless to cut him yesterday.

"I would have loved to start the season with all three of them," MacTavish said of the cuts. "They're all guys who would be benefited from being here."

That Edmonton starts the season with three goalies and added an enforcer at the last minute cut the legs out from under Brule and Schremp.

Brule looks like he could have helped here, but won't get the chance.

"I didn't see him in the opening day lineup so we wanted to get him down there and playing," said MacTavish.

"I was very impressed by his game," he added.

But the Oilers were even more impressed with what six-foot-six Steve MacIntyre brings.

"Looking at our schedule in the early going, we're going to need some toughness," said MacTavish. "That's why we picked up MacIntyre. We ended up with a decision and decided we'd stay with the toughness in the short term.

"We're a tougher team physically (with him). We won't get pushed around by heavyweights like we have in the past."

OILERS GO RETRO

The Oilers' third jersey, which was leaked on the Internet several months ago, was finally unveiled yesterday. It's the garish bright orange and blue sweater they wore 25 years ago.


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