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Report: Four teams are now in the Spezza sweepstakes

Jun 25, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

Trade talks surrounding Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza have been heating up lately as four teams – three in the West, one “mystery” club in the East – have thrown their names in the hat, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

About a week ago, Senators GM Bryan Murray said there were only two serious offers, so things may very well heat up as the 2014 NHL Draft approaches.

The St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks continue to be linked to Spezza. The Chicago Sun-Times brings up the possibility that the Chicago Blackhawks might be in the mix. If true, that would obviously make them the third West team involved. (Chicago would need to do some salary cap gymnastics and/or the Senators might be required to retain some salary to make a hypothetical deal work.)

The 31-year-old center can veto a trade to 10 teams. The Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders are the four East teams that Spezza wouldn’t accept a trade to, according to McKenzie. There’s no word on the six teams Spezza canceled out, but considering the pedigree of the teams rumored to be interested, it would be surprising if he’d reject a move to Anaheim, Chicago or St. Louis (if those are indeed the teams).

McKenzie reports that the Senators want to get a deal done around draft time, ideally landing a first-round pick as part of a package for Spezza.

Spezza has one year left on a deal that carries a $7 million cap hit. He scored 66 points in 75 games last season, though he struggled at times, seen in simplified form in his -26 rating. (In case you’re wondering, Spezza’s possession stats weren’t awful, yet they weren’t great either in 2013-14.)

For more trade and/or draft talk, click here.

  1. jpat2424 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Don’t want him in Chicago. We don’t have the cap space. And even if we did. Still wouldn’t want him.

    • esracerx46 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      I get why you don’t want home in Chicago. But salary shouldn’t be why. He has 1 year left, which is absolutely ideal given Toews and Kane’s new contracts in 15/16. 7 million in cap hit is a lot. But its a 4 million salary. Ottawa can afford the cap hit by taking on some of his salary. Where it gets muddy is will they take on 2 million in salary? If yes, then if all players are even. Strictly salary speaking, would you rather have player A at 3.5 for 1 year? Or player B at 5 million for 2 years? The second year being the added salary of Toews, Kane, and Saad.

      I understand your reservations about Spezza’s as a fit. But his salary, especially if the Senators retain part of it shouldn’t scare you.

  2. snipedanglecelly13 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Mystery east team should be Detroit where alfie and spezza unites!

    • pjblake2redwings - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      I would be ok with that.. Take over 2C from Weiss like he was suppose to do last season..

  3. valente317 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    Would it be possible for OTT to retain $3 million of the cap hit and not pay any salary, while another team takes on $4 million to the cap and pays the full $4 salary due this season? Must the salary be split between the teams at the same ratio as the cap hit? Anyone know?

    • esracerx46 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      Must be dollar for dollar. If they retain half of the cap hit (3.5 mil) they would then retain half of his salary (2 million). What I’m not sure of is if its like MLB where teams can send cash the other way.

      • areaman714 - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        If Ottawa is able to do something like you describe, they’d get much better player compensation. Otherwise, that 7 million cap hit seems to make everyone melancholy on this guy.

    • killerpgh - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:50 AM

      Here is a pretty good break down of how retaining salary works in the NHL.

  4. juzzi7 - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:26 AM

    I dont get why everyone seems to be so sure that chicago will catch a big fish via trade/freeagency. Stan Bowman is known for being silent when ppl put pressure on him. I will be surprised if he goes for Kesler/Spezza but not so much if he decides to get someone like lets say Frans Nielsen for almost nothing which he is really good at.

    • esracerx46 - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Thinking and hoping are two different things. They have been linked to Frans Nielsen in the past.

  5. 2qswing - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Don’t want him in Cbus anyway. overpaid, over rated, minus 26 last year, worst on the team. A former all-star on the down side who quit last year. captain of an under performing team at – 26 and demanding a trade….. nice captain.

  6. multiplemiggs - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    again a prima donna NHL brat disses the Islanders organization. You will all regret it one day.

  7. jpat2424 - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Keep it

  8. nickdesposito - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Wouldn’t be shocked if it’s the Devils. They don’t have a first round pick they can trade, but they have a ton of you Dmen that could be used with a 2nd round pick. And Lou doesn’t let anything come out so that could be why they are a “mystery” team. Who knows though.

    • mikedoc315 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      I would be shocked if it’s the devils, I’m sure at this stage in his career the only thing he wants would be to win the cup. I don’t think he would go to a team unless it’s close to winning the cup the Devils aren’t that team,although I’m sure the devils would love to have him.

  9. bobbybarnard1 - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    PLEASE!! Armey, don’t do it. The price is too high, projected return low. The ghost of Paul Kariya is still floating around in St. Louis. Go for Stasny in trade and sign or free agent. PLEASE11

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