Monday, September 20, 2010

Commodore for Souray?

RUMOUR2009-2010 NHL Statistics2011 Cap Info
To ColumbusPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Sheldon SourayDefense343749132$5.4 million
To EdmontonPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Mike CommodoreDefese305729113$3.75 million

The latest rumoured solution for the Edmonton Oilers and their standing history with Sheldon Souray is to deal him to Columbus for veteran defenseman Mike Commodore.

This rumour has been picking up some steam in the past couple days, especially with an early injury to Kris Russell in training camp and now on Monday morning, there have been a tweet from Ryan Rishaug of TSN (here), confirming that this deal has been batted about, although it sounds like it was a while ago.

To me, this deal doesn't look terrible from either standpoint.  The team that truly stands to gain is more likely the Oilers, since Souray is not going to be at their camp and he now is a potential $5.4 million lump against the salary cap without even playing a game for the team.  Of course, there will be ways around, but this is kind of where it stands at the moment.  The Oilers bringing in another body to replace the cap lump would be a huge win.

The knock on Commodore is that he can have seasons where his health is kind of sketchy and his body finds ways to get injured, but then he can also have 80+ game seasons and he's a solid figure on the blueline.  He doesn't score a great deal, not really a great hockey pool player, but at least he can give a team some solid minutes.

For Columbus, acquiring Souray would be a definite upgrade offensively on the blueline, but even more so of a health-risk during the season.  Souray is a member of the injury prone list, as of this year, and is coming off of another harsh season between a concussion and a broken hand (which happened when he tried to avenge his concussion).  There's no question that Souray will be able to give the Blue Jackets what they want on their power play, but the price tag is awfully high and there are no guarantees about his health.

Salary CapNeither team is stressing about the cap ceiling going into the regular season, but a move like this would have the Blue Jackets a little closer.  The Jackets currently sit at a projected number of $54.5 million with Commodore on the books, which would take on another $1.7 million with the acquisition of Souray.  The Oilers are currently pretty low on my projected list, but that is currently without the rookie bonuses of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi. Nevertheless, the Oilers would also be saving money on this straight-up deal, if it were to happen.

I don't buy this deal and its probably for the same reasons that Howson has bitten on it (as per the Rishaug tweet), the risk is just too high.  With the Oilers, there is no risk in a straight-up deal like this, because Commodore is much more durable than Souray and that isn't saying a great deal about Souray.  The Oilers would likely have to part with another piece for the Blue Jackets to take this deal on, likely for the sake of security that they are getting their money's worth.  This is definitely a spot where Andrew Cogliano could come in handy, throwing him in the mix, while the Jackets throw in a pick, just to call it square.  To me, that would make a lot of sense to both sides.