The Dallas Stars ended a wild day on the free agent market by signing veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray to a one-year deal worth $1.65 million. Souray was the sixth major league signing Announced by the stars on the first day of NHL free agency. Dallas also added right wing and Stanley Cup champion Michael Ryder, along with defenseman Adam Pardy and forwards Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak and Jake Dowell.
Souray’s devastating slap shot, timed at a then record 106.7 miles per hour in 2006, helped him become one of the most dangerous power play weapons in the NHL. After he scored 26 goals (19 on the power play) and 64 points (48 on the power play) in 2006-07 for Montreal, the Edmonton Oilers signed him to a five-year, $27 million contract. He played in just 26 games in 2007-08 but bounced back to score 23 more goals the next season, earning a Darryl Reaugh coined nickname “Studly Wonderbomb.”
Since that season, he and the Oilers had not seen eye-to-eye. A concussion limited him in the 2009-10 season, after which he asked to be traded. The Oilers refused, placed him on waivers, and told him that he would have to play in the AHL to be paid. He played 40 games for Hershey and tallied 19 points, and now, at age 34, he looks to return to the NHL to wreak havoc on shorthanded goalies once more.
According to Mark Stepneski, the day’s signings put the Stars at 49.9 million, a little over a million above the league’s payroll minimum. They will likely stay there until the team is officially sold.