Bruins' acquisition of Horton intensifies Spezza speculation

At least we know Jason Spezza won’t be going to the Florida Panthers.

As the trades begin and speculation is everywhere leading up to Friday’s National Hockey League entry draft in Los Angeles, the Panthers shipped power forward Nathan Horton to the Boston Bruins in a package that saw defenceman Dennis Wideman and the Bruins’ 15th overall selection go to Florida.

While there is little surprise that the Panthers traded Horton — he was a goner from Florida the moment new general manager Dale Tallon took over — there had been some suggestions that he could be moved to the Senators for Spezza .

Senators general manager Bryan Murray said on Monday that he’s all ears when it comes to trade possibilities for his first-line centre. He insisted, however, that he won’t make “a bad trade” simply because Spezza said he wouldn’t object to being dealt.

Late Monday night, the internet was abuzz with speculation that Spezza had been dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets or that a deal was imminent. The deal would have apparently seen the Blue Jackets ship centre Derrick Brassard, winger Kristian Huselius and their fourth overall selection to the Senators for Spezza , but there has been no subsequent confirmation by either the Blue Jackets or the Senators.

The idea of Spezza going to Columbus has had some legs since it was first raised two weeks ago, if only because the Blue Jackets need to win soon and star winger Rick Nash has been starving for a top-flight centre ever since he came into the NHL.

The other intriguing speculation with regards to the Senators Tuesday was their possible interest in Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar.

Gonchar , scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, isn’t going to re-sign with the Penguins. Pittsburgh is believed to be entertaining offers to trade his rights now, giving an interested team a week to try to exclusively negotiate a new contract with him. With the Senators resigned to hard-hitting, shot-blocking defenceman Anton Volchenkov testing the free agent market — Ottawa is open to trading his rights, as well — Murray has said his priority is finding a defenceman to replace him. Murray would prefer a mobile defenceman, allowing the team to move the puck out of its end quicker.

Bye-Bye Bingo: Don Nachbaur has resigned as head coach of the Senators’ American Hockey League affiliate. “It is a difficult day for me, as I step down,” Nachbaur said in a press release issued by the Senators. “This was not an easy decision for me, but it is based on personal reasons and I think it is the right choice for both myself and my family.”

22 Responses to Bruins' acquisition of Horton intensifies Spezza speculation

  1. leafs_akiberg8 says:

    I believe this is too much to give up for spezza. I think spezza and nash on a line would be lethal but to give up a top prospect in brassard and a fourth overall in a draft with 3 premier defenceman (which is what columbus is also looking at) is ridiculous. Also their giving up one of their top wingers to offset spezza's salary, however the past 2 years they have put up the same points. So In total they'd be giving up two top end prospects for the same point production. Here's some possible revisions.


    4th Ovr



    2nd rd

  2. LeafsneedSteen says:

    If Ottawa is trading Spezza for a 4 overall pick then their rebuilding, given that the idea of adding Cowen to any trade doesn't make sense.

  3. mojo19 says:

    I agree. Huselius and Brassard for Spezza is fair, forget the 4th overall pick. I can see why that trade didn't go through. Howson is not an idiot.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Actually LeafsneedSteen, I don't think dealing Spezza for the pick would mean a rebuild at all, especially if they're bringing in Brassard (ready for a 50 or 60 point season) and Huselius (55-70 point potential). It would just spread things out up front and give more depth to Ottawa's forwards.

  5. LeafsneedSteen says:

    I prefer the_word and that's a good point however Kristian and Bassard are supporting pieces while Spezza is a center piece.  The Sens were a surprise last year but quite competitive could you really see them making the playoffs without Spezza?

  6. leafy says:

    I'm not sure I want this Savard for Kaberle rumor to happen. Normally I'd jump at the chance to get Savard, but how do we know that Savard will be the same after a serious concussion?  He could be the next Keith Primeau.

    I say no more trades with Boston!!!!!!

  7. mojo19 says:

    I don't see them as a contender with our without him. And I already knew it was you, if your name didn't give it away then the out of nowhere Brad Richards comment pretty much sealed it.

    And ya, they would lose some star power but gain some cap space, they could go hard after Sergei Gonchar and just revamp their team with a trade like that.

    Anyway's I read on Spectors hockey that this rumour started on a Sens message board, so I doubt it has any legs.

  8. mojo19 says:

    concussions are risky to deal with, that's true.

    On the other hand, Marc Savard at a $4 mil cap hit? Holy shit. I would pay $6-7 for him.

  9. cam7777 says:

    I completely agree.  I really hope that Nonis has just told Dreger to put that out there to up the price elsewhere, because I do not want Savard.  Really really shrewd, awful management by Chiarelli if that rumor comes true.  He signs Savard to a hometown discount, career-ending contract, only to dump him to the team he knew Savard would go to in free agency for free, and he gets the man he actually wanted all along.

    Basically we will have traded Kaberle, Seguin,1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2010 for Kessel and the negotiating rights to Savard – because we would have got a deal done with Savard had Chia just let him walk, and he knows it.  The man was shopping for *****ing houses in Toronto.  I say keep Savard now.  Chiarelli is an asshole.  I said when he traded Aaron Ward, who signed at a discount to help him out – he's going to give himself a bad rep among the players pretty soon.

  10. cam7777 says:

    I think that Columbus would be a great destination for Jason Spezza, and I think they have the assets to get it done.  There's not a chance Howson includes that 4th overall in a package though.  I would do this if I were either GM:

    To Ottawa:

    Kristian Huselius
    Derick Brassard
    Sami Pahlsson
    2nd in 2010 (34th overall)

    To Columbus:

    Jason Spezza
    Matt Cullent (rights)
    4th round pick 2010

    Columbus dumps 3.7 million in cap space, and gets first chance at a replacement 3rd line center for Pahlsson.  Ottawa gets a nice package, and a real Swedish connection with a Huselius – Pahlsson – Alfredsson line.   Brassard has a lot of offensive potential, and that 34th overall pick is pretty solid.  I like the look of both teams after this trade.  Ottawa would be a three line attack team, and Columbus would be a top six bottom six team with an elite top line.

    As for the Savard to Toronto for Kaberle rumor, I really, really hope it's not true.  I would feel really screwed over by Chiarelli if this were true.  This would be like us signing Mats Sundin to a contract extension, and then trading him wherever we wanted minutes before the NTC kicked in.  Since Savard would have signed here for free, I don't feel this deal is good.  I'd rather wait and let Savard realize what a douchebag Chiarelli is, and demand a trade of his own accord.  Then we could get him for less.  He's also potentially damaged goods.

    What might make more sense is a three way trade, or at least, two separate trades involving 3 teams.  Several teams out there are looking for quality netminding, and the Bruins are looking to dump Thomas.  We know the B's want Kaberle in return, but Thomas has no use to us.  So maybe something like:

    To Boston:

    Tomas Kaberle

    To Philadelphia:

    Tim Thomas
    Blake Wheeler
    Joe Colborne

    To Toronto:

    Jeff Carter

    Now that looks a little better for us, and everyone is happy.

  11. Kev_Leafs says:

    I think Boston would be giving up slightly too much.  I don't think Colborne should have to be included.  Wheeler has got a lot of potential as it is. 

    Hell, I think Kaberle for Thomas for Carter is pretty good for all teams getting what they want, though the return on Carter might not please Philly.

    But, as you say, this is a great angle that would benefit the three teams involved. 

  12. cam7777 says:

    Yea, I really like it.  I hope it can get done.  Eklund is sayng that BOS is trying to trade CLB for the 4th overall so they can swap it for Kaberle.  If we got that pick, I'd either try and package it for Bobby Ryan, or try to trade down multiple times.  For example:

    To ANA: 4th overall
    To TOR: 12th overall, 29th overall, 3rd round pick
    To FLA: 12th overall
    To TOR: 15th overall, 50th overall

    There's the potential to claim 5 draft picks in the top 2 rounds, which would be pretty stellar, although it wouldn't help the team immediately.    We could take the risk on Kabanov or Alexandrov, pick up McIlrath or Pysyk, shoot for Beukeboom in the 2nd round.  Loads of potential.  Burke would only do this though, if he were looking at signing Kovalchuk, as he'd then have a lot of cap space.

    It would be real tough to say no to Carter though.  That would get it done in a second I think.

  13. mojo19 says:

    Boston would get Kaberle for Thomas. Yep they're happy.
    Toronto would get Carter for Kaberle. No complaints here.
    Philly would get Thomas for Carter…. hmmm. I think Thomas is a good goalie but I wouldn't be too happy with this trade.

    If i were the Flyers I would look at acquiring Evgeny Nabakov, Chris Mason, Marty Turco, etc. Then if they have to dump some salary up front I'd look at moving Gagne for someone young, or Hartnell. Carter should be a last resort.

    Not that I wouldn't love to see him in Toronto.

  14. cam7777 says:

    They're stuck with everyone else though, thanks to NTC's.  Gagne's NTC essentially means they have to resign him, or let him walk for nothing next summer.  i can't see him waiving.  Neither will Hartnell, Briere or Timonen most likely.  Carter and Coburn are really their only tradeable chips, and if you really think about it, are they going to be able to afford to pay Carter next season when he needs a raise?  He could seek more than Richards based on that 45 goal season.  So long term, they may be thinking: "***** do we really need Carter, we have a scoring core of Richards, Gagne, Briere, Hartnell, Giroux and JVR, and Leino out-performed Carter in the playoffs.  If we can fill another hole, we'd probably be better off moving Carter, and replacing him with someone cheaper."

    I think Leino showed them that when you're a star studded team, you can lean on your nobodies a little harder than others.  Detroit learned that lesson this year too, although in the opposite way.  Take away the stars, and the nobodies aren't as great as you thought they were (see Leino, Helm and co. in a Zetterberg, Kronwall, Franzen, and Filppula deprived Detroit).

  15. mojo19 says:

    Leino is hardly a nobody though. I used to love that guy two seasons ago. And he was the MVP of the Finnish league. He's just a classic late bloomer.

    Also Leino was better than pretty much any Flyers forward in the cup final. I would say he was their best. grrr

    And I hear what you're saying. In a scenario where Gagne refuses to waive, I would move Jeff Carter, but not in a deal for Tim Thomas. It would have to be for a high end young guy. More like a deal for let's say Kadri and a roster player like Kulemin. If Toronto doesn't like it, then I'd look for a similar deal elsewhere.

    Not trying to be difficult just playing devil's advocate.

  16. cam7777 says:

    I don't think that makes sense though.  Honestly, you'll think I'm retarded, but I think Kadri's value is greater than Carters.  Yes, Carter has done fantastic things in the NHL and Kadri is unproven, but Carter is *****ing expensive,  and Kadri looks all but guaranteed to be an impact NHL prospect.  Let's say for arguments sake we traded Kadri staight up for Carter, and resigned him to a 6 million dollar deal.

    While we're paying Carter 6 million, they're paying Kadri 1.75.  So for those 3 years, They've got Kadri and a free agent worth around 5 million dollars, since the bulk of Kadri's cap hit is bonuses.  So looking back at previous years, would you rather have Kadri and Havlat, or Kadri and Hossa, or Kadri and Antropov and Lang…or just Carter.  You need to have those players on their ELC to have any chance at a Cup.  Philly already has Giroux and JVR, we don't need to give them more.

    Plus, I think it's pretty clear from Holmgren's track record that he doesn't give a shit about picks, prospects or young players. 

  17. mojo19 says:

    I agree with you, I wouldn't do that trade from a Leafs perspective either. I'm just saying from a Flyers perspective, you have to imagine a deal like that is out there if they shopped around.

  18. reinjosh says:

    Huselias is a supporting player, Brassard is a developing player. Big difference.

    And with Spezza's recent play its hard to suggest he is a center piece player. Adding two forwards with 60 point potential (and more with Brassard) and a high pick would be a deal that they can both still keep a competing team as well as stock some nice assets up.

  19. reinjosh says:

    Oh its way too much for a guy with a huge salary who isn't playing up to it.

    Does anyone else see Columbus pushing hard for Gonchar if they do indeed get that center for Nash? Those two moves (along with a hopeful revival of Steve Mason) could make them a seriously dangerous team.

  20. reinjosh says:

    Yeah, I'm hoping its only used as speculation to help drive up the price for Kaberle. As good as Savard has been, his injury problems are a big question mark.

  21. reinjosh says:

    Well they would also be getting a blue chip center prospect and a decent top 9 guy (although with question marks, seeing as most Bruins fans want him gone).

  22. futurebruin says:

    Say the Bruins do manage to steal Carter from Philly for Thomas.  Would it be surprise, given their logjam at center, to see him get moved with maybe Wheeler's rights and the 32 to get the #4 (Gormley)?

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