"He said he wouldn't object to it," Murray said. "He didn't come in and say, 'I have to be traded.' He didn't object to the fact that maybe it's time - the way (he's) been received - now maybe it's time."
"I said unfortunately, that doesn't happen," said Murray. "You signed a long-term contract. We committed to you, you committed to us...we're not going to make a bet for you."
First question that comes to mind is this: Why is Bryan Murray throwing Jason Spezza under the proverbial bus by revealing comments made in a private year end meeting? Especially so when Spezza denied to the media not very long ago that he wanted a trade out of Ottawa.
What does this accomplish? One, it makes Spezza look stupid for keeping the details of the meeting private when asked by the media. Two, it makes Spezza look like the bad guy (just listen to Murray's tone of voice as he half-heartedly reprimands Spezza, talking about honouring contracts etc.).
Three, it ignites a semi-dozing controversy that was pushed aside for awhile after Spezza's awkward non-denial/denial to the press and the result will be that an important Entry Draft for the Senators will get completely overshadowed by a re-run of the Dany Heatley circus.
Four, it weakens Murray's bargaining position around the league, with everyone and their grandparents knowing that Spezza wants nothing to do with this city and it's boorish fans anymore. Much like the Heatley crisis, Murray now has a ticking time bomb on his hands and the rest of the GM's can wait and watch him squirm all summer until they can wrangle a sweetheart deal like the one San Jose plucked from this organization.
Five, it completely covers up the fact that Murray admitted that he is about to let Anton Volchenkov, the team's best defenseman, walk for nothing, or possibly a mid-level draft pick if he can convince a team to make a mercy move before July 1st (it's highly unlikely he can land a similar package to the one Nashville got for Dan Hamhuis, but you never know). Notice how all the stories are about Spezza and not Volchenkov? As they say, when delivering bad news, might as well do it all at once so it doesn't seem so bad.
The end result? Two of the Senators best and in-their-prime assets are likely going to be leaving shortly, further eroding the skill, grit, heart and reputation of this now reeling organization.
How low can the Senators sink? Will there ever be a time when the team is not engulfed in controversy?
Who's next? Kovalev? Fisher?
Alfie? Remember folks, Alfredsson didn't rule out the possibility of leaving the team in order to win a Stanley Cup. That may very well be a reasonable option if the team is thinking of starting a rebuild with much older players like Matt Cullen and Andy Sutton.