Former Oiler defenceman says injury nearly ended his life

Liam McCormick
July 7, 2024  (10:25)

Sheldon Souray with the Oilers
Photo credit: The Hockey News

For a brief period of time, Alberta native Sheldon Souray was one of the best defenders in the NHL, and got to play for his hometown Oilers - but things absolutely did not work out, according to Souray.

In a new interview, Souray detailed the end of his Oilers tenure and a controversial hand injury that nearly ended his life. According to Souray, the Oiler accused him of faking the injury to force a trade.
»I break my hand, it's a boxer's fracture, and I said I wanted to go to LA to get surgery, and they said no. Now I'd ask for a trade. We're not seeing eye to eye, and now they're thinking I'm like a spoiled brat who wants to change the organization.

I get the surgery, and I get out of the shower, and there's these two pins and they're sticking about this far out. I push them back in my hand, and it's three days in ICU. I got this major infection. The nurse comes in one day, and I said ‘What are you gonna do, cut it off?' She goes, ‘Honey, we're not worried about your hand, we're worried about this getting to your heart and killing you.'

One of my assistant trainers comes to the hospital one day, and he comes and sees me. He said, ‘just so you know, the management thinks you're faking this injury because you don't want to play for the Oilers.»

To have such a talented hometown defenceman like Souray on the team and treat him this poorly is a brutal indictment on the awful recent history of Oilers management. Hearing him explain that he was in shock that his life was being threatened, and then to hear an accusation that he was faking it - it's not hard to see why free agents would avoid signing with Edmonton in the past.
Souray was mired by injuries throughout his career, but when he was healthy and in his prime, he was an incredible defender. He had the grit and toughness of old time hockey, but also was able to contribute plenty of offence with a thunderous slap shot. In 2008-09, Souray scored an impressive 23 goals and 53 points, while also logging 98 penalty minutes.
Thankfully, management is much, much better now. Since drafting Connor McDavid, the Oilers have completely changed their perception across the league. They repeatedly ice contending teams, debuted a world class arena, and now have Jeff Jackson at the helm - who has turned Edmonton into a destination that players want to play in.
Source: Brantt Myhres on X
Sheldon Souray speaks on hand injury with the Oilers.
Former Oiler defenceman says injury nearly ended his life

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