will not be heading back to the NHL.
For now, at least.
The veteran defenceman cleared waivers Monday, meaning no team took a chance on adding him to their roster. It is not yet known what the Oilers next step will be, but they do reserve the right to keep him in the American Hockey League, where he is currently on loan to the Hershey Bears.
Another option the Oilers have would be to buy out his contract this summer, leaving the club to pay two-thirds of the final year of his $4.5 million contract over the next two seasons.
With a major trend towards acquiring defencemen already underway leading up to trade deadline, the Oilers hoped that another team would be willing to land a blueliner with 650 games of NHL experience. Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini considered it a good opportunity given the market conditions.
"This is an opportunity for some team and for Sheldon," Tambellini told reporters Saturday. "Everyone is asking for the same type of things out there and this was the right time."
Souray has spent the entire season in the American Hockey League with Hershey. After requesting a trade this past offseason, Edmonton told the defenceman not to come to training camp. He was then loaned to the Washington Capitals' minor league affiliate in Hershey.
In 650 career games, Souray has 96 goals and 166 assists.
In his last full NHL season in 2008-09, he scored 23 goals and 30 assists in 81 games with the Oilers.