Canadiens lose Souray to Oilers

Coveted, high scoring defenceman Sheldon Souray is leaving the Montreal Canadiens for his home province of Alberta and joining the Edmonton Oilers. Souray agreed to sigining on with the Oilers on a 5 year deal. The 6’4” native of Elk Point, Alberta joins the Oilers after spending the past six seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. Last season, Souray led the Canadiens in power-play goals with 19 and penalty minutes with 135, while ranking second in goals (26) and points (64). His 26 goals led all NHL defencemen, six ahead of second ranked Dan Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also led all NHL defencemen (tied with Vancouver’s Sami Salo) with six game-winning goals. Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (3rd round, 71st overall), Souray has compiled 186 points (66-120-186) including 821 penalty minutes in 506 career NHL games. In 34 career playoff games, Souray has recorded 10 points (3-7-10) with 65 penalty minutes.

“I’m heading home to Alberta and I can’t wait to step onto the ice at Rexall Place”, said Souray. “It’s always been a terrific building to play in. I couldn’t be happier with my decision and I can tell you it was an easy one to make. I’m looking forward to playing in Edmonton for a great organization and believe me, I know how good the fans in Edmonton are.” He also turns 31 today, July 13th, so happy birthday Sheldon!

Holly – Justin Nozuka

What would I do without the internet and enlightened souls who decide to give the rest of us unfortunate ones the goods? Once again, via some guys’ blog, I have found out about a truly talented singer / musician and he is only 18! This kid can wail better than most and he is a true gem in the world of hype & glitz and nothing much else. Justin Nozuka is a Toronto based soul influenced acoustic pop-rock musician. It’s hard to put a tag on his music, but you get the pop, soul & rock vibe all over his debut album Holly and his lyrics are quite mature for a teen. The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has fleshed out many of the songs he’s been playing on acoustic guitar the past year for intimate audiences. Now, with recent opening slots for Ziggy Marley, Sam Roberts, Xavier Rudd and The Philosopher Kings, he is poised to build his audience one fan at a time, impressing those with his engaging personality, ear-bending lyrics and a rugged soulful voice. Born in New York to a Japanese-born father and Canadian-born mother, Justin moved to Canada at age 8 with his mother and siblings after his parents’ divorce.

In fact, the title of the album Holly & one of the songs Oh Momma pays homage to his mother, Holly, who raised Justin and his 4 brothers & 2 sisters by herself after her divorce. The album opens with the bluesy Down In A Cold Dirty Well, an ominous acoustic song that Justin inexplicably wrote about falling down a well. This song sends chills up spine but you still sing along. My favourite track on the album is Be Back Soon, a lusty track about missing your girl, who is on vacation on a beach somewhere, while you are at home and missing her being in your arms. Save Him is about an abused wife, who still wants her husband to be normal. Most of his songs are from his imagination, like Criminal, another great track about a young teen who smokes pot of the first time on the streets with his friend and then throws a bottle in the air for fun. The bottle breaks on the road and later a small girl when walking barefoot, cuts & bleeds on the broken glass. The song is about the guilt that the boy feels when he sees the story on tv and wonders if he should run (to Mexico and change his name & face)!

There are love songs like Golden Train and the pleading Mr.Therapy Man, which reminds me a lot about the Beatles Mr.Postman, but only in the lyrics and overall theme of the song. While After Tonight & We Were Supposed To Grow Old are about breakups, I’m In Peace is about the bliss of having a loving & beautiful girl in your life. Singer Damhnait Doyle, of the band Shaye, guests on If I Gave You My Life. The album ends with the philosophical plea to humanity (especially the US), Don’t Listen To A Word You’ve Heard. Overall truly wonderful music from a young artist with an old soul. Buy it!