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Oilers place veteran defenceman Souray on re-entry waivers

TSN.ca Staff

2/19/2011 4:26:37 PM

With the NHL's trade deadline just over a week away, it seems that defencemen are the hot ticket item this year.

Which could be helpful for the Edmonton Oilers, who put veteran defenceman Sheldon Souray on re-entry waivers Saturday.

Souray has spent the entire season in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears. 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.

Should he be claimed, the Oilers would pay half of what's left on Souray's $4.5 million contract this year.

Since Friday, there have been six trades in the NHL, and only one - a goalie swap between the Senators and the Avalanche - did not involve a defenceman.

With veteran defencemen such a hot commodity leading up to the deadline, Oilers' general manager Steve Tambellini considered it a no-brainer.

"This is an opportunity for some team and for Sheldon," Tambellini told reporters following Edmonton's matinee victory over the Thrashers Saturday.  "Everyone is asking for the same type of things out there and this was the right time."

Big name defencemen such as Erik Johnson, Eric Brewer and Tomas Kaberle have already been moved, while other mid-tier blueliners like Ian White, Mark Stuart, Francois Beauchemin and Paul Mara have also been acquired.

Souray has played 650 career games in the NHL, scoring 96 goals and 166 assists.

In his last full season (2008-09), he scored 23 goals and 30 assists in 81 games with the Oilers.