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.