What to do about Spezza

Speculation over the future of star Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza is swirling ahead of the NHL draft, writes Ken Warren.

Would Senators general manager Bryan Murray accept a package of Edmonton Oilers Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid — the same trio in the deal Dany Heatley vetoed last summer — in a trade for Jason Spezza ?

Could Spezza serve as the long-lost perfect centre for Columbus Blue Jackets left-winger Rick Nash?

Is there substance to speculation the Boston Bruins would deal their second-overall draft selection at the NHL entry draft on June 25-26 to Ottawa, in exchange for the Senators’ first-line centre?

And what are the chances that Murray would look at a shortlist of unpalatable offers and decide the team is better served by keeping Spezza ?

They’re all questions in the air as Murray mulls over whether to deal Spezza before his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.

League wide, most teams are simply “tire-kicking” in trade talks, according to Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who, as the host general manager, is excited for the opportunity to expose Californians to the NHL draft process.

Boston Bruins

When it comes to suggestions Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli could deal the club’s second-overall pick to the Senators as part of a package of players for Spezza , perhaps it’s a case of someone adding two plus two and coming up with five.

Chiarelli has indeed talked to Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini about a deal to flip-flop the first and second picks. He has also said he could trade some combination of the team’s other early draft choices (15th, 32nd and 45th) to secure another high early pick.

But while the Bruins were starved for offence last season, it’s unlikely Chiarelli would give away a potential franchise forward such as Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin , while inheriting a $7-million salary.

Maybe the Bruins would consider a separate deal involving one of their existing centres — Marc Savard , Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci — but it’s unlikely either Murray or Chiarelli would want to make a blockbuster deal within their own division.

Edmonton Oilers

The first overall pick for Spezza ? Forget about it. . Earlier this week, the Edmonton Journal opined that the Oilers should swap Penner , Cogliano and Smid for Spezza because the money is essentially a wash (Penner and Smid will make $5.3 million next season and Cogliano is a restricted free agent). Sure, it makes sense for the Oilers.

And sure, Murray first brought Penner into the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, signing him as a free agent out of college. Smid is a solid Top 4 NHL defenceman.

But who, exactly, would become the Senators’ No. 1 centre? Cogliano is coming off a 10-goal, 28-point season. If the Oilers substituted Sam Gagner for Cogliano , it might pique Murray’s interest, but Gagner also needs to be re-signed as a restricted free agent and he has yet to prove he’s a legitimate first-line centre.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/What+about+Spezza/3148541/story.html#ixzz0qppOJCq7

4 Responses to What to do about Spezza

  1. ICELIZARD says:

    I think that in the right environment, Spezza can still be a dominant player.  We all know that Columbus has been searching for a #1 centre to play along side Nash for several years now…  They have a small window of opportunity and should take it.  Columbus should trade away their 1st round pick for Spezza… Imagine the positive energy that Spezza will bring to the Blue Jackets and to Nash in particular.  That would be an exiting dual to watch.  The timing is right for Columbus… Enough with these high draft picks while missing the playoffs and get yourselves a #1 centre for one of the most dominant players in hockey (Nash).  The problem is, is that enough to get Spezza out of Ottawa?  My guess no… Murray is probably looking for a high draft pick plus an established NHL centre to play big minutes and get between 60-75pts/year.

    This will never happend, but Montreal would be a good trading partner. 
    To Montreal: Spezza + rights to Volchenkov
    To Ottawa: Rights to Plekanec, AK46, Spacek or Hamrlik, 1st round draft pick

    This deal makes sence for both teams… Ottawa would get a proven NHL centre that could put up big numbers, depth at forward (AK46), and a solid d-man + draft pick.  Montreal will receive that big scoring centre they've been lacking for over 10 years and much needed physical d-man.  Moreover, with Gomez still under contract for the next 4 years, Spezza will probably be the #2 centre playing with Cammalleri (what a duo that would be!) and won't have the burden of being the top dog…

  2. inurface says:

    i jus dun seeing this happenin bc

    montreal and ottawa ? they wont make a deal

    montreal cap issues seriously? gomez cammalleri gionta and now u want to add spezza and volchenkov?????

    i still dun think spezza goin to montreal will give him relief,,,, fans will boo him even more if it happens

    spezza to columbus for someone like umberger 1st round is within the realm of possibility

    lastly i dun think spezza is gonna be moved period

  3. reinjosh says:

    Umberger won't be moved. He is loved by management and the team. He's the type of player you just don't move because he brings more than talent.

    Spezza has had a lot of disappointing years and won't get all that much. The 4th overall and a guy like Filatov maybe.

  4. inurface says:

    even though i think thts lobsided and sens win with this deal
    clb can pull the trigger bc they just need to be in the play offs

    well they might do a 3 way trade take some other teams caps problem and ship it to sens and get talent/future from there.

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