Senators need to show patience when it comes to Jason Spezza
By Rob McPhee
It is official, Jason Spezza has requested a trade and his time in Canada’s capital appears to be done. It would seem that once the Stanley Cup has been hoisted, the Ottawa Senators will try to make quick work of trading their current Captain and number one center but general manager Bryan Murray would be wise to take his time before shipping the longtime Senator out of town.
Toronto - June 12, 2014 - It is official, Jason Spezza has requested a trade and his time in Canada’s capital appears to be done.
This comes in the wake of Monday’s announcement that Jason Spezza would be pulled from all Ottawa Senators advertising for the upcoming season and that his jerseys would soon be discontinued.
It would seem that once the Stanley Cup has been hoisted, the Sens will try to make quick work of trading their current Captain and number one center.
The one thing working against GM Bryan Murray is the apparent availability of multiple high level centers. The list includes UFA and 2010 U.S. Olympian Paul Stastny, disgruntled Vancouver Canucks pivot Ryan Kesler and the San Jose Sharks long time centermen Joe Thornton. There are also a great deal of second and third line centers that will potentially be available via free agency like Derek Roy, David Legwand and Dave Bolland.
The Senators may encounter problems dealing the four-time thirty goal scorer while Kesler and Stastny are still available. Both offer comparable value at the position and the asking price for the Canucks second line centre is roughly the same as Spezza but with a lower cap hit. Couple that with the fact that whichever team signs the former second round pick of the Colorado Avalanche won’t have to give up anything but money and it might be a while as teams wait to see what happens.
Spezza will be turning thirty-one on Friday and has had a career riddled with injuries. Since the 06/07 season, he has managed to play 80 games in a season only twice. Despite his injury problems the former second overall pick has performed well, netting 23 goals and 66 points in 2013-14, which was more than both Stastny and Kesler. Whichever team deals for Spezza will be taking a risk, but it is a risk with a high reward. He is a legitimate first line center, and will perform at a high level if he stays healthy. The question is who is willing to take that risk?
It’s being reported that the Sens are only shopping Spezza to western conference teams, which is understandable after how trading Ben Bishop within the division worked out. The teams with the most interest are reportedly the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks.
Anaheim is looking for a centerman to play on the second line behind Ryan Getzlaf (the hole left by current Ottawa Senator and former Duck Bobby Ryan) and is expected to pursue any and all avenues in their search. There has also been talk of a Kesler for Spezza swap, but for now that is just speculation. Meanwhile St. Louis and Nashville are both searching to bolster their offense in hopes of making a deep push into the playoffs. This means there should be a lot of interest in all available centers.
With the draft still weeks away it would be in the Ottawa Senators best interest to take their time with moving Jason Spezza in order to ensure they get the most for him. Teams like Anaheim and St. Louis aren’t interested in grooming and developing a center, they need someone who can play right away and produce. The odds are the Senators won’t get their best offer until the eve of the draft, if not the day of. Until then though expect a fervor of trade speculation and rumours. The waiting game begins now.
@RobMcPhee on Twitter
Rob was born in Toronto's East end and has been a Maple Leaf fan his entire life. He is currently a student at York University in Toronto and is studying writing. He has always loved the blues and sports of all kind. If you have any questions, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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