The New York Rangers are actively scouting Edmonton Oilers castoff defenceman Sheldon Souray, and could begin the process of acquiring his services within the next few days, Sportsnet.ca has learned.
Rangers pro scout Kevin Maxwell is credentialed for tonight’s game in Atlantic City between the Hershey Bears and the Albany Devils, and another Rangers scout is on his way to Hershey for back-to-back Bears games Saturday and Sunday against Manitoba.
Rangers general manager Glen Sather has already passed through Hershey to have a firsthand look at Souray, who is healthy and back playing for the Bears, after suffering a pair of injuries this season.
He has 3-10-13 in 19 games and is plus-5 with 37 PIMs. If the Rangers were to approach the Edmonton Oilers about Souray, there is no guarantee that he would be New York bound.
However, Edmonton would have to put Souray on re-entry waivers, which would make him available to all teams lower in the standings than the Rangers, who were in tenth place in the National Hockey League prior to play Friday.
Upon an expression of interest from another team — which the Oilers brass has said has been nonexistent since sending Souray to play for the Washington Capitals farm team at the beginning of the 2010-11 season — Edmonton would have two choices:
They could put Souray on re-entry waivers, and if he is picked up they would be stuck with half of his $5.4 million cap hit (and $4.5 million salary) for the remainder of this season and next, when his current contract expires.
If Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini left Souray in the minors and bought out the final year of Souray’s deal in the summer, it would cost Edmonton two-thirds of the contract, spread out over the next two seasons.
Or, Tambellini could hang on to Souray until the season is over and the re-entry requirement ends.
The strategy there would be to trade him at the draft or during the summer, reap a return for the asset, and not be stuck with any of the remaining contract obligation.
"There is no chance anyone trades for him at that number," an Eastern Conference source told Sportsnet.ca Friday. "Even with only one year left."