Ryan Miller breathed a sign of relief yesterday, as Sheldon Souray inked a five year contract with the Oilers yesterday. This means Sheldon and his rising slap shot will only be seen far less around these parts, and those parents who named their child “Sheldon” up north will have a lot of explaining to do.
This brings two things to mind. First off, is it just me or does it seem like Edmonton settled for Souray? Kevin Lowe sure made it look like he threw the kitchen sink at quite a few people in the UFA market before he gave Sheldon a ring. Sure, now that they have Souray under contract it’s quite okay to say you were after him all along, but stories like this and this don’t just suddenly disappear.
In no way am I mocking the move, I think it is good for both parties, but it is interesting to see how some GMs flip the free agent game. Kevin Lowe, whether for better or worse, was determined to “make a splash” this offseason. He did, it just so happened that his splash was Plan C. It’s an interesting contrast with Darcy and the Sabres, who seemed dead set on landing one select player (Chris Drury) and not having much public interest elsewhere.
The other important, if not life altering question that comes out of Souray’s departure is this: is it safe to name your child after a favorite player anymore?
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s been done before. Heck, if there are a few dozen babies named “ESPN” floating around out there, then anything is possible. But even with ESPN, it’s a stable television network that will leave a history behind it, no matter what happens in the future. The same cannot be said for a star player in a salary cap era. It’s barely safe to buy a lettered jersey these days, let alone put a name on legal papers. (How many Bledsoe or Flutie jerseys do you see even today?)
Now, I know it’s stupid and outlandish, but people have been known to do stupid things. Children have been named after mayonnaise, failed birth control, and record labels; so why not after a defensemen with a heavy shot? Sure, there’s a risk involved, but if Souray leads your Habs to a Cup win, suddenly your kid is the coolest one in preschool, even cooler than the one with the mini Hummer.
I can think of at least a half dozen people I would risk naming my kid after, but can’t because of free agency. I’ll name one, and if you come up with any, feel free to leave it in the comments.
Wily Mo Pena