August 27, 2010
Any chance the Edmonton media has to make Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and team management look like bumbling morons is a chance they're taking, so Friday morning's news that he allegedly nixed a Sheldon Souray(notes) trade to the Philadelphia Flyers for Scott Hartnell(notes) last year is perfect fodder.
Souray is a high-salaried albatross that the Oilers have been unable to move this summer. Hartnell is two years removed from a 30-goal season, had nine points in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals and is the kind of heart-and-soul player rebuilding teams need in their dressing room. It wouldn't have been a steal, but it would have obviously been a deal that would have helped the Oilers fiscally and up front.
After telling Tencer in an interview that Souray shouldn't be allowed to attend Edmonton's camp as things now stand, Karius said: "This could all have been avoided last year, Dan.
"Steve Tambellini offered Sheldon Souray to the Flyers for Scott Hartnell. And Hartnell has a no-trade clause and Paul Holmgren went to Hartnell and said, 'Listen, the Oilers are interested in you. Would you waive your no trade?' And Hartnell said, 'You know, I'd like to, I wouldn't mind going to Edmonton and playing.'
"He's a Lloydminster guy. He's an Alberta guy. He likes it here. I think it would have been a kind of a homecoming for him. A power forward, kind of what the Oilers need. So he said, 'Go ahead.' So Paul Holmgren phoned Tamby back and said, 'Here is the deal. It's done if you want it,' and Tamby pulled out.
Fun story. CoH's David Staples gives the rumor credence based on the source and the details in the tale, but acknowledges "we can't say for sure that all this is true." What is true: Hartnell doesn't have a no-trade clause but a no-movement clause, a point of confusion in Karius's story that we might chalk up to semantics.
According to a source close to Hartnell we spoke to Friday morning, he's never waived that no-movement clause and he's never been asked to waive it. Take that for what it's worth, and then recall this from Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly in March, when some off-ice personal issues and a prolonged slump were affecting Hartnell:
Hartnell is one of six players with a no-trade or no-movement clause on the team. The Flyers could have asked him to waive it at the deadline. They didn't ask any of their players. He has three years left on his six-year deal at an annual cap hit of $ 4.2 million.
So they didn't seek to move him when his slump was dragging the team down, but allegedly did after a 30-goal season, in the second or third year of a six-year commitment? We'd say that's nutty on the part of Holmgren ... but we are talking about a guy who builds his teams sans goaltending, so who knows?