Monday, March 2, 2009

Spezza Going Nowhere

Alas, sanity still reigns in Ottawa.

Bryan Murray poured cold water on the year-long Jason Spezza trade rumours today by saying that he won't move the centre, who's no-trade clause becomes effective July 1st.

This should be interpreted as good news, though some will surely be disappointed that a blockbuster isn't around the corner.

Even if Murray wanted to dump his franchise player, he wouldn't be able to get proper value for him in almost any scenario imagined.

No team is going to trade Ottawa their number one centre for Jason Spezza. If they have a number one centre, they have no need for Spezza anyways, so Murray would have to settle for quantity over quality. He might get a good second line centre and some prospects or he could maybe get a number one defenseman.

But then the Senators would be a team without an elite centre, guaranteeing a further erosion in the standings and you've just replaced one problem with another.

No matter how good Boston is doing this year, they made a poor trade when they sent Joe Thornton to San Jose for a handful of lesser players, most of whom now play elsewhere with little fanfare.

It was simply good luck for Boston that John Muckler let Zdeno Chara walk for nothing, and that Don Waddell did the same with Marc Savard, combined with some good drafting that allowed them to get over the Thornton mistake.

There would probably be no similar golden road for the Senators were they to trade Spezza. In order to replace him, they would have to draft a number one centre and let him develop for five years. These types of players rarely hit free agency because most GM's are locking them up to long contracts, similar to what Spezza signed here in Ottawa. The chances of a Marc Savard type player hitting free agency is slim to none.

The fact is, Ottawa made its choice to build their team around Spezza and it's too late to back out now unless you decide to rebuild from scratch.

If you trade Spezza, then you have to get rid of Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson as well because you would be carrying those huge contracts on a team that has no chance to win.

Love him or hate him, Spezza is going to be dishing pucks for the Senators for a long time.


Canucnik said...

Spezza is one of the few classy items in our organization, only the "troubled" wanted him gone.

My "fear".......Procrastination....
everyone knows what we want and what they are worth....start completing the deals. No one knows for sure how to be a successful seller...but I can tell you how to be an unsuccessful seller...leave it too late!!!

If you are buying and you don't get your man it's no big deal...Mucks would tell us we didn't "Him" anyway. However,if you are trying to move free agents..."Don't fuck around!" "It's time!"

Mr. Murray experience is a great teacher...use yours!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear! Spezza is the most talented player on the team, and the most exciting to watch when he is on his game.

I just heard on TSN that the Sens would like Pascale Leclaire and that Columbus wants Vermette in return.

If this happens, I am going into overdrive to have Murray fired. Leclaire has a $3.8M ticket for the next two years. He has never won a playoff series. He has never won a playoff game. He has never been in the playoffs. And, he makes more than Gerber.

To me, this smells like Martin Gerber, The Sequel.

On top of that, they want our most versatile player, in Vermette.

I think that there are enough goalies available this summer that it will be a buyer's market. Goalie salaries, aside from the top-tier, are gonna go down.

I think that we could nab Bulin Wall for less than $3.8M. I would rather go in that direction.

I would rather even bring back Sugar Ray Emery. He would address the goaltending and give the team some much needed swagger.

Canucnik said...

8:18PM.....You are right.

TSN and Bruce have the worst contacts out side of Nick "the Greek" Kypreos.... I think I have better access and everyone I know is retired.

Forget the goal tending till the summer.

To the task at hand.... Don't wait any longer, finalize Kuba and Neil on Tuesday.

That leaves Wednesday to give Schub to Tampa. Go find these guys who were thinking about #21, put TIM on that. Give Bell to Buffalo if they will take Gerbs.

PS: Don't come back with the same team next year or you will not draw as well as Bingo! We are running out of do-overs.

Jalen said...


Thank you for an excellent post - a clear, concise explanation of the stupidity driving the "trade Spezza" movement.

A healthy and much needed dose of common sense.

Very sad that certain local media lack the brain function to come to a similar conclusion. If he's traded at all, it would have to be in the off-season at the draft as part of a complete team overhaul. That kind of major re-tooling can only be done in the off-season.

Murray, Spezza and anyone with a clue understand this. Unfortunately, those without a clue believe Murray and Spezza are just complacent. Embarassing.

Keep up the great posts.

- Jalen

hambown said...

Huzzah. Now if Murray can hurry up and trade our pending UFAs so that all we've invested in them doesn't go to waste, I'll be able to relax for a minute.

Waiting until the very end of the deadline is making me crazy. If they don't get dealt, then what? Murray doesn't have the $$$ to spend resigning them both. We need a goalie for next year, plus a defender (Preissing is on waivers j/k.), plus he wants to resign Comrie, plus, plus, plus. Plus!