They don't want Sheldon Souray involved with the franchise in any way, shape or form.
The malcontent defenceman so polluted his relationship with the Oilers last spring that they don't even want their farm hands exposed to him. So rather than assigning him to their minor league affiliate in Oklahoma City, he's being shipped to Washington's, instead.
"We've made an arrangement that he be sent to Hershey," said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. "He'll report there soon."
In an ongoing culture change in Edmonton, Souray has become the poster boy for "Out with the Old." He carved management last spring, saying he wanted out of Edmonton and wasn't surprised few veterans players around the league wanted in.
Tambellini responded by saying he was sick of whining players and would no longer tolerate complainers and players who didn't bleed Oilers colours. Looks like he was serious.
"We spoke about this in the spring that we had players who were good NHL players but we needed to change some things. This is just part of a major change that we went through over the last six months."
Now that he's officially in the AHL, Souray has to clear re-entry waivers if he's recalled (even if it's for a trade), making him available to anyone in the NHL for half of his $5.4 million salary (Edmonton would be on the hook for the other half).
"That's an option," said Tambellini. "I would have to wait until somebody contacts me and expresses interest. Right now I don't have that."
Being on the hook for half his salary for two years is a big price to pay, but the organization clearly believes it's the lesser of two evils.
"Daryl Katz has been extremely consistent with his message, that you do what you need to do," said Tambellini. "Do what's best for the organization. That support has been incredible."
Why Washington? Are they, perhaps, interested in him at the NHL level?
"I don't know that at this point, I just know they were interested (for Hershey) and it made sense."