Jason Spezza formally expressed a desire to be traded from the Ottawa Senators last week and the team’s center and captain could be on the move at or near the NHL draft at the end of June.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray has expressed his hesitation in dealing Spezza as he likely will not recoup the type of value he wants in return to remake the roster, but also admits that it could be time for both sides to move on.
“I don’t want to trade the guy, really, and I know I won’t get the value, in all likelihood, that I should get for him,” he told NHL.com via the Montreal Gazette. “But I think that Jason feels maybe there’s a change that he would like to have happen, and if that’s the case, we’ll try to do what we can.”
The Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers have been linked in connection to acquiring Spezza, but would the player accept a deal to those teams who are unlikely to sniff the postseason considering part of his wanting to get out of Ottawa is to play for a contender?
The St. Louis Blue and Dallas Stars have been mentioned as potential trade partners, but CBS Sports suggests the Anaheim Ducks could be a player for Spezza to fill the No. 2 center role behind Ryan Getzlaf.
Complicating the matters is that Ryan Kesler and Joe Thornton could be made available for trade and that could muddy the waters for potential trade negotiations as the Ducks and other teams weigh their options for these trade targets at center.
Spezza had 23 goals and 43 assists in 75 games but was a minus 26 this season. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft has 251 goals and 436 assists in 686 regular-season games, and has added another 17 goals and 35 assists in 56 playoff games.
The Senators will want draft picks and an established player in any potential deal for Spezza so look for this deal to get done at or before the June 27-28 draft.