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Sheldon Souray
Sheldon Souray Hershey.jpg
Born July 13 1976 (1976-07-13) (age 40),
Elk Point, AB, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
237 lb (108 kg; 16 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils
Ntl. team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 71st overall, 1994
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1995–2013

Sheldon Sharik Souray (born July 13, 1976) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey Defenseman who played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New Jersey Devils, Montreal CanadiensEdmonton OilersDallas Stars, and Anaheim Ducks. He was best known for his heavy slapshot, once setting a previous unofficial NHL record for the hardest recorded shot at the Oilers' 2009 Skills Competition.

Playing careerEdit

New Jersey Devils (1997-2000) Edit

Before playing in the NHL, Sheldon was a member of the Fort Saskatchewan Traders in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). He was drafted in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft in the third round (71st overall) by the New Jersey Devils. Souray reported to his second Devils training camp overweight and out-of-shape, prompting general manager Lou Lamoriello to call him embarrassing, and that he would never play for the team if it happened again. Souray credits Lamoriello for calling him out, and says it was exactly what he needed to succeed at such a high level. He made his NHL debut in the 1997-98 season. He finished his rookie season with modest scoring totals of three goals and ten points in 60 games, but most importantly established that he was capable of being an NHL regular. He scored his first NHL goal on a powerful slapshot late in a December 16, 1997, game against the rival New York Rangers to break a 3–3 tie late in the third period and send the Devils to a 4–3 win. Souray played in New Jersey from 1997 to midway through the 1999-2000 season, earning a reputation as a big, steady, physical defender with a mean streak and a hard shot. However, with the Devils preparing to make their Stanley Cup run late in the 1999–2000 season and believing they needed more offence from the blue line. Souray was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on March 1, 2000, for Vladimir Malakhov.

Montreal Canadiens (2000-2007) Edit

Souray's offence began to improve following his trade to the Canadiens. At the time of his trade from the Devils, he had just eight points, all assists. He finished with three goals in 19 games as a Canadien to tie his career best for goals in a season, and establish a new career best for points (11) in 71 combined games. More importantly, he began using his dangerous shot more often once he arrived in Montreal. In 2000-01, injuries limited him to just 52 games, 19 less than the previous year, but Souray still managed to match his previous season's career bests in goals (3), assists (8) and points. He got off to a good start in 2001-02, threatening to surpass his previous offensive highs, as he tallied three goals and five assists in just 34 games while fighting through an injury-plagued campaign. 2001–02 also saw him record his first career power play goal, as the Canadiens began to realize the value of having a player on the point who could consistently shoot the puck as hard as Souray. However, he suffered a wrist injury that plagued him throughout the year, and though he would play through it much of the season, Souray would eventually shut it down at the end of the season.

The severity of the wrist injury kept him out the entire 2002-03 season while he recovered and regained his strength. However, in 2003-04, Souray returned to play for the Canadiens and had a breakout season, amassing a surprising 15 goals and 35 points. He had exceeded expectations with the sudden development of his offensive game, especially given his reputation as a defence-first rearguard throughout his NHL career up to that point. This was of course possible because his powerful slapshot had returned along with his health, he was using his shot more often than ever before, and the Canadiens were giving him plenty of scoring opportunities by using him on the power play and increasing his overall ice time. During this season, he participated in the 2004 NHL All-Star Game for the first time, and shared a win in the Skills Competition's hardest shot contest. Both he and Adrian Aucoin recorded blasts of 102.2 mph in the event. During the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, he played for Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elitserien. While in Sweden, Souray wrote a correspondence in the Montreal Gazette with the assistance of hockey writer Dave Stubbs. The correspondence chronicled Souray's experience in a new country, and the different style of play that is popular overseas compared to the North American style of play. He also had the chance to represent his home country internationally by playing for Team Canada in the 2005 IIHF World Championship. Due to the lockout, this tournament featured a much higher percentage than usual of NHL players, of which Souray was one.

Souray returned from the lockout to post a successful 2005-06 with 12 goals and a new career best 39 points. However, in 2006-07, Souray emerged as a top-tier defence man in the NHL with a career-best 26 goals, 38 assists and 64 points, placing second in team-scoring in both goals and points, and third in assists, a remarkable achievement for a defenceman. His slapshot's reputation continued to grow throughout the League, to the point it could inspire fear in opposing players. It was so successful that season, Souray even used it in a shootout as a decoy in a December 2, 2006 game. That goal, scored on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Andrew Raycroft in the shootout, stood as the eventual winner in a 4–3 Montreal victory. On April 5, 2007, Souray broke the NHL single-season record for most powerplay goals scored by a defenceman with his 19th of the season. The record was previously shared by Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders (1974-75) and Adrian Aucoin of the Vancouver Canucks (1998-99). Souray was named to his second NHL All-Star Game that season, this time as a starter, and posted the second-hardest slapshot at the Skills Competition with a 100.0 mph shot, finishing as runner-up to event winner Zdeno Chára (100.4 mph). It was a banner year for Souray, as he led all NHL defencemen in goals and finished third in points, behind only Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Gonchar. Entering into the 2007 off-season, it was clear that Souray would be one of the top available defencemen as an unrestricted free agent.

Edmonton Oilers (2007-2011) Edit

Sheldon Souray1

Souray during his time with the Edmonton Oilers.

In the off-season, Souray became an unrestricted free agent and, on July 12, 2007, he signed a 5-year, $27 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers. During the third period of a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on December 3, 2008, the Stars' broadcast team referred to Souray as "Studly Wonderbomb." It has since become a popular meme amongst Oilers fans. His debut season with the Oilers was, however, marred by injuries and he only suited up for 26 games. The next season, in 2008–09, he bounced back from the injury-shortened campaign to record 23 goals and 53 points. During the Oilers' 2009 Skills Competition, on January 4, Souray set the unofficial NHL record for the hardest shot. Clocked at 106.7 mph, his slapshot beat Chad Kilger's old unofficial record of 106.6 mph set at the Toronto Maple Leafs' 2006 Skills Competition. The record is deemed unofficial as the league does not recognize individual team Skills Competition and instead goes by the NHL All-Star Game's Skills Competition results. As such, the official record is held by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chára, whose 105.4 mph slapshot beat Souray's third-place 103.3 mph effort at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game later that month.

Three games into the 2009–10 season, Souray suffered a concussion after Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla checked him into the boards head-first on October 8, 2009. The injury limited him to 37 games, scoring 4 goals and 13 points in the campaign. After he requested a trade from the Oilers in the 2010 off-season, the Oilers placed Souray on waivers with the hope that he would be claimed. After clearing waivers, he was told not to attend the Oilers' training camp. On October 6, 2010, Souray was assigned to the American Hockey League (AHL), being loaned to the Washington Capitals' minor league affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Souray accepted his demotion to the minors and posted a solid AHL season, as he battled and slowly recovered from his nagging injuries. Leading up to the NHL trading deadline, the Oilers once again placed Souray on waivers, attempting to unload his salary; He cleared a 2nd time, leaving him under contract to Edmonton as relations between Souray and the Edmonton camp remained testy at best. Finally, in the summer of 2011, Edmonton bought-out the fifth and final year of Souray's contract. This allowed Souray to become a free agent and again pursue playing at the NHL level with another team.

Dallas Stars (2011–2012) Edit

After becoming a free agent, Souray was signed by the Dallas Stars on July 1, 2011, to a one-year contract. Having recovered from his injuries, Souray made a successful comeback with the Stars, taking on more of a defensive role than in the recent past, particularly at even strength. However, he continued to still see plenty of ice time on the power play, where his slapshot could wreak havoc for opposing goaltenders, and was encouraged to use his shot as before. The Stars, meanwhile, while recognizing Souray's physical style, also openly declared that in order to preserve his health, they did not want him fighting very often, although they did not go so far as to dictate directly for him to never do so. On November 4, 2011, Souray reached a milestone when he scored the 100th NHL goal of his career in a 7–6 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Fittingly, it was a power play goal scored with a slapshot. Souray earned the respect of fans, teammates and local media in Dallas very quickly for his physical style of play and booming shot, and restored some of the goodwill that had been lost due to his spat with the Oilers. Most importantly, Souray was regularly healthy again. Despite missing a handful of games after sustaining an ankle injury blocking a shot in a December 23, 2011, win over the Nashville Predators, he had returned to the Dallas lineup by early January and was again a contributing member of their blueline corps. He finished the 2011-12 season with six goals, 15 assists and 21 points in 64 games.

Anaheim Ducks (2012–2013) Edit

On July 1, 2012, Souray signed a three-year, $11 million contract with the Anaheim Ducks During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, he remained healthy and carried his strong defensive play over from Dallas, posting a career-best plus-minus rating of +19. He also continued to use his powerful shot to the tune of seven goals and ten assists in 44 games as the Ducks qualified for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. For Souray, this was the first time since 2005–06 that he was part of the Stanley Cup playoffs. His final point of the regular season, an assist in a 3–2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 17, 2013, was also a personal milestone for Souray, his 300th career NHL point. Souray announced his retirement on June 30, 2015, after two years of being an unrestricted free agent.

International playEdit

Souray represented Team Canada at the 2005 World Championships in Austria. He was also on the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team's shortlist for the 2006 Winter Olympics but did not make the cut, partly due to his slow start at the beginning of the 2005–06 NHL season.

Personal lifeEdit

Souray was born in Elk Point, Alberta, to Richard Souray and Lillian Parenteau. He is of Métis descent and has one sister, two year older. At a young age, Souray moved with his family from Fishing Lake Metis Settlement to a small community in Alberta in order for his sister to attend school. In another two years, they moved again so that Souray could play organized sports. While still in elementary school, Souray's parents divorced; he first lived with his mother before moving in with his father at age nine. Growing up, he attended Archbishop O'Leary Catholic High School with former fellow Oiler Fernando Pisani.

Souray dated model actress Kylie Bax before meeting former Baywatch actress Angelica Bridges, whom he married. The two were separated in 2006, but reconciled later. They have two daughters, Valentina Raine and Scarlett Skye Souray. Souray and Bridges remain very close friends.

Souray married former WWE professional wrestler Barbara Blank, better known as Kelly Kelly, in February 2016.

Souray is co-owner, along with New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and Montreal restaurateur Andrea Dell'Orefice of a Rivière des Prairies pizzeria.

AwardsEdit

RecordsEdit

  • NHL record for most single-season power-play goals by a defenceman- 19 in 2006–07 (surpassed Denis Potvin and Adrian Aucoin - 18)
  • Unofficial NHL record for hardest recorded slapshot - 106.7 mph at the 2009 Edmonton Oilers Skills Competition.
  • Edmonton Oilers team record for fastest 2 goals ever scored in a regular season game: span of 7 seconds (shared with Aleš Hemský)

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93Tri-City AmericansWHL20000
1993–94Tri-City AmericansWHL42369122
1994–95Tri-City AmericansWHL4022426140
1994–95Prince George CougarsWHL1123523
1994–95Albany River RatsAHL70228
1995–96Prince George CougarsWHL329182791
1995–96Kelowna RocketsWHL27720279460552
1995–96Albany River RatsAHL60221240114
1996–97Albany River RatsAHL70211131601623547
1997–98Albany River RatsAHL60008
1997–98New Jersey DevilsNHL6037108530112
1998–99New Jersey DevilsNHL7017811020110
1999–00New Jersey DevilsNHL5208870
1999–00Montreal CanadiensNHL1930344
2000–01Montreal CanadiensNHL52381195
2001–02Montreal CanadiensNHL34358621201116
2003–04Montreal CanadiensNHL631520351041102239
2004–05Färjestads BKSEL3998171171516777
2005–06Montreal CanadiensNHL7512273911663258
2006–07Montreal CanadiensNHL81263864135
2007–08Edmonton OilersNHL26371036
2008–09Edmonton OilersNHL8123305398
2009–10Edmonton OilersNHL37491365
2010–11Hershey BearsAHL404151985611216
2011-12 Dallas Stars NHL 64 6 15 21 73
2012-13 Anaheim Ducks NHL 44 7 10 17 52 6 0 1 1 4
NHL totals 758 109 191 300 1145 40 3 8 11 69

International Edit

Year Team Event Result    GP G A Pts PIM
2005 Canada WC Silver medal icon 9 1 1 2 6
Senior totals 9 1 1 2 6

External linksEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Sheldon Souray. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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