How the Oilers almost traded Sheldon Souray for Scott Hartnell, according to TV

Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini pulled out of a trade that would have sent Sheldon Souray to the Philadelphia Flyers for Scott Hartnell, who had agreed to waive his no-movement clause to come to Edmonton, an Edmonton TV sportscaster, Kevin Karius of Global, says.

Karius’s report is supported somewhat by an Edmonton Journal report from Jim Matheson, who wrote, “Sources indicate the Oilers were working on a Sheldon Souray trade last season to the Philadelphia Flyers for winger Scott Hartnell, but the deal didn’t come off. The veteran defenceman remains in limbo, with two years left on his contract, and is anxious to be dealt to another team.”

Karius’s report was unsourced, but far more detailed.

After telling Tencer in an interview that Souray shouldn’t be allowed to attend Edmonton’s camp as things now stand, Karius said: “This could all have been avoided last year, Dan.

“Steve Tambellini offered Sheldon Souray to the Flyers for Scott Hartnell. And Hartnell has a no-trade clause and Paul Holmgren went to Hartnell and said, ‘Listen, the Oilers are interested in you. Would you waive your no trade?’ And Hartnell said, ‘You know, I’d like to, I wouldn’t mind going to Edmonton and playing.’

“He’s a Lloydminster guy. He’s an Alberta guy. He likes it here. I think it would have been a kind of a homecoming for him. A power forward, kind of what the Oilers need. So he said, ‘Go ahead.’ So Paul Holmgren phoned Tamby back and said, ‘Here is the deal. It’s done if you want it,’ and Tamby pulled out.

“So that could have been done last year.”

On the rumour credibility scale, this rates highly, but it’s still just a rumour and might not be accurate. It’s more than an Eklund-type speculation, most certainly. In its favour, it comes from a named source who covers the team, it’s full of detail, it has the look and feel of Karius simply repeating a story that one of the main players, evidently from the Philadelphia side of things (Hartnell himself?) told Karius.