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Souray back in Edmonton

by Staff
Sheldon Souray downplayed his first game back in Edmonton since Jan. 28, 2010.

Souray's difficult tenure with the Oilers organization ended this past summer, when the club bought out his contract. He had spent all last season in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears after the Oilers told Souray they had no use for him in Edmonton and didn't want to take up a spot with their own AHL team.

Souray signed with the Stars in July and has had a solid comeback season, posting 6 goals, 14 assists and a plus-14 rating in 61 games.

"It's just another game, to be honest," Souray told reporters Friday in Edmonton. "I do have some family and friends here, but otherwise, it's business as usual. There's not even that many guys left that I played with ... I'm more concerned about where we're going as a team and how important this game is to us.

"Things happen. It was a little messy in people's eyes and that's just the way it was. But a lot of time has passed since then, and everyone has moved on."

Souray's former Oilers teammates had good things to say about him.

"I can only say positive things about him," former defensive partner Ladislav Smid told reporters "He was a really good teammate, a really good guy. He helped us big time. He's got good leadership skills and I sat next to him (in the locker room) for a season and he was a great guy. I was really young back then and he was helping me along the way."

Said Edmonton coach Tom Renney: "He's a big, strong man and is imposing as heck, he's intimidating and he's all those wonderful things that you want in the game. There's always a time in a player's situation where the crosshairs don't quite line up and maybe you handle it wrong, and maybe you wish you hadn't or vice versa. It doesn't matter. He's not here, but he's had a pretty good year."

Here are the likely lineups for the Stars and Oilers when they hit the ice Friday in Edmonton (9:30 p.m. ET, TSN):

Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Jamie Benn - Steve Ott - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Ryan Garbutt - Tom Wandell - Tomas Vincour

Stephane Robidas - Sheldon Souray
Mark Fistric - Trevor Daley
Alex Goligoski - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen will start in net, with Richard Bachman the backup.

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Lennart Petrell - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ben Eager
Ryan Jones - Eric Belanger - Darcy Hordichuk

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Ryan Whitney - Nick Schultz
Andy Sutton - Corey Potter

Nikolai Khabibulin will start in net, with Devan Dubnyk the backup.
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