Late Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks made their first official free agent signing. They signed veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray to a three-year deal through the 2014-2015 season. Souray is now 35 years-old and spent last season with the Dallas Stars. Listed at 6’4″-237 lbs, Souray had a sort of renaissance last season with the Stars. The last few years before joining Dallas had been riddled with injuries in struggles that saw him only see AHL action in 2010-2011. Last season, Souray tallied 6 goals and 15 assists for 21 points in 64 games for the Stars. He also totaled 73 PIM and was +11 for the season. He appeared in his 700th career NHL game on February 26, 2012 against the Vancouver Canucks.
This signing did come out of nowhere, but does seem logical after trading Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders. They needed to add a defenseman that could make up for some of Lubo’s offensive numbers. Now, Souray is not the same player he used to be by any standards. Early on last season, Souray was playing his best hockey he had played in years. However, as the season went along, his production started to slow down. However, by the end of the season, Souray was among the leaders in every major offensive categories for Dallas Stars defenseman. I do like signing Sheldon Souray, but the three-year deal is a little too long in my opinion. Souray definitely doesn’t have three years in the tank. I would be shocked if he can play over 60 games for all three years. He will bring a big slap shot to the point and will help the power play. Once again, taking over for Lubo. We’ll see how this deal works out, for now I do like it.
Sheldon Souray on his future with the Ducks:
“I think I filled the need that they had and was happy to do so. They had a great team and great guys. It was all positive moving forward, so that helped. But I think even more so going forward this year in Anaheim, they have a need. They have great players moving forward. They are not that far removed from being a Stanley Cup championship team. They have players on there who know what it takes to win and how to win. They are a few players on there who I am familiar with. I think that I can come into this organization bring some leadership, experience and the x-factors that they are looking to fill. Just like I did in Dallas last year when the opportunity presented itself, I think this is a great fit for me hockey-wise and personally. I’m looking forward to coming in and being a part of the solution moving forward.”
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