PROTOSTAR – [proh-toh-stahr] - noun
an early stage in the evolution of a star, after the beginning ofthe collapse of the gas cloud from which it is formed, but before sufficient contraction has occurred to permit initiation of nuclear reactions at its core.
With all of the new blood on the Stars team, it only seems right that we as a premier Dallas Stars website, go over each one and see what they may or may not add to the Dallas Stars. And what better a place to start than with Sheldon Souray?
No doubt when GM Joe Neiuwendyk signed Souray he saw an opportunity for the number one defensemen to emerge from the loins of Souray. For him to become the top tier player he was several years ago until his bad phase with the Oilers started. But at the same time, he’s a solid defensemen for a reasonable price even if the “super star blueliner” status doesn’t come back. So, it really is a win regardless.
At the end of the day, you have to put the pieces in place – then you have to find ways to upgrade those pieces one at a time. Essentially with all of the free agents going OUT, Joe had the opportunity to bring in some new players into those spots to fill those roles. By adding players like Fiddler and Dvorak for instance, Joe has in theory upgraded the spots that Langenbrunner and Williams were filling. In the meantime, Souray is a definite upgrade for Woywitka and Skrastins. And so, in effect, all of the moves accomplished a definitive goal for the Dallas Stars.
It is still arguable that the Stars while upgrading certain areas didn’t really address the loss of scoring from the Richards departure and the #1 defensemen that the team has needed for three years now. While there is a gamble in place, that perhaps Souray can step up into that role now that he’s on a new team – but it’s just that… a gamble.
So, where does Souray stand at this point in his career? I think he still believes he can get back to his stature as one of the leagues premier blueline warriors. The question is, does he believe it enough to make it happen. After watching hockey for so long, you learn that confidence is probably one of the biggest factors in a players performance. Will being sent down to the AHL be something that really henders Sheldon in the way of his confidence?
And even if it doesn’t, is he still good enough to be that guy?
So, there is of course the definition of the word “gamble” in the gentleman’s background. However, injuries have plagued the last few years of Sourays’ existence so you have to think that if he avoids breaking his hand on other peoples faces for a full season you will see his status exponentially go up. In the last 4 seasons he’s only played over 40 games once, including this last season when he played 40 for the Hershey Bears of the AHL.
As far as points go, he scored 4 goals in the last two season and had 23 goals 30 assists in 09 when he played 81 of 82 games. So clearly having a healthy full season is key for Souray’s success. He has a huge shot and is a smart guy, it all comes down to whether or not this is the end of his troubles. Can having the backup of a solid franchise that treats its players fairly be what brings Souray back to the forfront of relevant players on the back end?
We all hope so. In the mean time, check out his career stats…