Thursday, January 7, 2010

Souray for Theodore?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To WashingtonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Sheldon SourayDefenseman33273123$5.4 million
To EdmontonPositionAgeMINWinsPointsYearsPer Year
Jose TheodoreGoaltender331,1409181$4.5 million

Without a doubt, this is one of the more interesting deals that I've seen on HockeyBuzz this year, but it really does solve a number of issues, the age range is right and the cap hits are about the same.

Both teams are going in opposite directions this season and both have their own issues to deal with. The Capitals need some depth and some veteran presence on their blueline, while carrying three qualified goaltenders. The Oilers are spinning their wheels in the Northwest Division, with all sorts of high priced talent, which is hurting their books and not winning games. The Oilers goaltending situation is also not very secure, with Nikolai Khabibulin on the verge of season-ending surgery and two young goalies now holding down the fort.

Looking at the two pieces of this rumoured deal, Sheldon Souray is a good veteran leader on the blueline and would be able to add that extra depth to the Capitals in the end of this season and a couple seasons afterwards. Jose Theodore is now turning out to be the odd-man out, once Semyon Varlamov is officially healthy again, and the former Hart Trophy winner would likely enjoy some more starting minutes, no matter where it is.

The cap hit, although has very similar numbers does pose a bit of a concern, mostly on Washington's side of the ledger. If the Capitals were to take on Souray, they would have him at his $5.4 million cap hit for the next two seasons, without having made any accommodations to Nicklas Backstrom or Tomas Fleischmann, who are both becoming RFA's this summer. Yes, they would have some depth on the blueline, but the Capitals are looking very well thought out in cap management, it might be a bit of a smear adding such a big name to the mix.

The Oilers would certainly be happy taking on a number one goalie in Theodore, who would essentially be a rental player, as Khabibulin recovers from his back problems. The team can remain competitive, even play spoiler, with a decent starter in their stables.

The elements are there, but again, its the cap concern that would easily nix this deal in the end. The Capitals would have a very formidable second power play unit, if Souray was to quarterback it and the Oilers would have $5.4 million more in cap room this summer if they were to end up moving him. That's a lot of flexibility given to a team that really needs it.

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