Old hat for Souray

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Oilers defencman Sheldon Souray has been part of the NHL all-star festivities before.

As a member of the Montreal Canadians, the Elk Point native played in a pair of all-star games and therefore is pretty familiar with the routine.

But this time will be different.

On Sunday in Montreal, Souray will be representing the team he grew up cheering for -- a year after having to undergo shoulder surgery.

"It's nice to be acknowledged, although I think it's something you might cherish a bit more at the end of your career," Souray said yesterday.

"Going into the year, that wasn't my focus; it was to come back off my injury. There were a lot of question marks about my playing and my injury, so it's just nice to be able to contribute and be acknowledged for a bit of a comeback."

Souray, 32, has 12 goals and 19 assists in 45 games this season. He's currently third in team scoring with 31 points behind Ales Hemsky (41) and Shawn Horcoff (32), and his seven power-play markers are a team high.

Edmonton's only representative at the game, Souray will also take part in the hardest shot showcase during Saturday's skills competition.

Oilers forward Andrew Cogliano is heading to Montreal to play in Saturday's Young Stars game.

"It should be fun, but in the overall scheme of things, it doesn't mean much," said Souray.

" It's probably going to be nice to go there, get whatever jitters I may have out of the way and be able to share the experience in Oilers colours.

"I was able to represent Montreal, but growing up, rooting for the Oilers, to get to represent them in Montreal is pretty ironic."

Souray played in the 2004 and 2007 all-star games as a member of the Canadiens.

He's not sure what kind of reception he'll get when he steps back on the ice at the Bell Centre.

"I think it's going to be lukewarm probably, to put it mildly," he said. "I didn't really leave there on bad terms, but they have a certain way of welcoming back the players that have played in the past."

After playing parts of six seasons with the Canadiens, Souray signed a free-agent contract with Edmonton prior to last season.

Unfortunately for the Oilers, he injured his shoulder and was limited to just 26 games, scoring three goals and adding seven assists.

His play so far this season, however, left little doubt that Souray should be back at the all-star game.

He's a big reason the Oilers are playing so well heading into the break having won five of their last six games and seven of their last 10.


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