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Family a factor for Souray

Sheldon Souray takes part in the hardest shot competition at the Oilers skills competition on...

Sheldon Souray takes part in the hardest shot competition at the Oilers skills competition on Sunday. (QMI Agency/Jason Franson)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

EDMONTON — To Sheldon Souray, family matters.

And while the Edmonton Oilers defenceman is willing to waive his no movement clause to help the team build towards the future, he’s not going to sacrifice time with his family to do it.

Therefore, it has to be the right option for him.

“I’ve talked to (Oilers GM) Steve (Tambellini) and I’ve talked to my agent about it,” Souray said. “They both know my feelings. One of the big reasons I signed here is to be close to my kids. My family is from here, so when my kids come in they can be with grandma and with my sister’s kids and things like that.

“That was a big reason why I signed here. So it’ll have to be a good situation in order for me to want to change it right now.”

As perhaps the team’s most valuable asset, the Oilers would get a bigger return moving Souray than they would any other veteran.

The defenceman has not requested a trade, and would be more than willing to stick it out for the remainder of his contract to help the Oilers turn their fortunes around.

However, if the Oilers decide their best course moving forward is to trade Souray and ask him to waive the no-movement clause in his contract, it would have to be a situation that fits his parameters. There have been discussions as to which teams meet those requirements.

“This is not a scenario that I thought of when I signed here,” Souray said.

“I thought the team was going to be having a lot more success. I didn’t really picture having to think about waiving a no-move clause. There were reasons why I chose Edmonton over other teams, so the situation for me will have to be good for me to change.”

The biggest issue involves Souray’s two young daughters who live in California. Playing in Edmonton allows the defenceman to see them on a regular basis.

If he were to move, it would have to be somewhere that would provide him with similar access to his kids. The Dallas Stars are rumoured to be interested in Souray's services.

“It’s everything. I would like to be on a good team, or at least in a good situation for myself,” Souray said. “It’s no secret that my family is as important as the game for me. It’s important to be able to see them and make sure that’s it’s easy on the kids. With two young kids it’s tough.

“Even with one kid, when I was playing in Montreal in the east, it was like a 10- or 12-hour travel days for a three-year-old. That’s a lot to do every month or every couple of weeks. There are reasons that I chose to come to Edmonton.”

Granted, Souray only has that option for just the remainder of the season.

His no-movement clause expires on July 1. After that, the Oilers are free to trade Souray wherever they want in the last two years of his contract.

“Maybe they’ll want to keep me or maybe they want to move me out and they have a right to do that and after July 1, they won’t have to ask me,” Souray said. “I think my agent and Steve talked about some things. I really just gave them both my opinion. They’ll do whatever they want to do. I’m not really going to tie anybody’s hands if something goes that way. But it’s not something for me to really worry about, so I’m not going to worry about it.”

The Oilers have not publicly stated they want to move Souray. While his offensive production is down this year, he’s still a strong presence in the dressing room and has the respect of everyone in it.

“If nothing happens, it doesn’t change anything any way,” Souray said. “I think the day I was asked about it (waiving his clause), I think it was a slow media day and I said with the way things are going here, I would understand, I wouldn’t hold them back.

“I come to the rink every day proud to be an Oiler and it hasn’t changed the>way I play. But I understand it’s a business. We’re professionals and no matter what situation you are in, whether you’re a first-year player, a five-year player or a 10-year player you have to come every day and be professional. So I’ll continue to do that for sure.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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