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Welcome Jason Spezza to the trade rumor mill

Apr 15, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

For the second straight offseason, there’s great uncertainty regarding the captain of the Ottawa Senators.

Jason Spezza was officially thrust into trade talks on Tuesday — though some would argue he was there already — as Sens owner Eugene Melnyk offered up a pretty blunt assessment of Spezza’s season, and future:

Spezza, who turns 31 in June, had a fairly productive regular season — 23 goals and 66 points in 75 games — but boasted a ghastly minus-26 rating and averaged just 18:13 TOI, his lowest total since 2003-04.

As far as trades go, he could be a pretty mobile asset. While he carries a $7 million cap hit next year — the last of his seven-year, $49 million deal — Spezza’s actual salary is only $4 million, a far easier figure for teams to stomach.

“I’m not naive to the talk. I’ve been asked the question lots,” said Spezza, per the Ottawa Sun. “There’s a lot of reflecting to go on here during the months leading up to next season and I’m sure that will be a topic.”

According to the Sun, there are several teams interested in Spezza’s services — Anaheim and St. Louis, specifically. So it seems the questions that need to be answered are these: Is Spezza willing to waive his no-trade, does he want to leave the only NHL team he’s ever played for and are the Sens really going to break ties with another captain after the Daniel Alfredsson fiasco?

Doesn’t sound like Spezza or the Sens are ready to answer just yet.

“I have a year left on my deal still there,” said Spezza. “This is the day after the season. There’s a lot of time to reflect. I’m sure Bryan [Murray] has to reflect and I have to reflect.”

  1. trbowman - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    I understand Jason Spezza’s frustration.

    You were a big time scapegoat for the teams failures. Cowardly, anonymous sources in the organization question your leadership (garbage). Fans who don’t get it do too. A disappointing year, so somebody’s got to take the heat.

    Would be a ridiculous, panic move by Murray to trade him – good for Hemsky coming out and being candid. Murray is too smart, I think. Spezza stays, as he should.

    • slaugin - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      I agree with everything you said about Spezza but would it really be that ridiculous to trade him now to help the future? He has 1 year left and I don’t think Ottawa is going to be a major factor next year, get some assets while you can.

  2. spezzdispenser - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    He’s always in the rumor mill, but it would still be nuts to trade him. Bias aside, he’s a perennial point per game guy. He has his flaws, but there’s no way they get fair value for him without setting the team back a few years.

    • 7mantel - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Definitely not a wholesale change,” says Melnyk. “We need leadership and accountability from top to bottom I don’t follow the Sens but from the little i know when he says from top to bottom does he mean from the OWNER to the GM.

      • mshantz22 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        I don’t think that’s what Melnyk means, but I do think that is what the team needs. Melnyk is a goon.

  3. howintensive - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    The Red Wings should re-sign Alfredsson and then trade him for Spezza

  4. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I know it will never happen, but PLEEEAAASE come to Toronto.

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