Trade talks surrounding Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza have been heating up lately as four teams – three in the West, one “mystery” club in the East – have thrown their names in the hat, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
About a week ago, Senators GM Bryan Murray said there were only two serious offers, so things may very well heat up as the 2014 NHL Draft approaches.
The St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks continue to be linked to Spezza. The Chicago Sun-Times brings up the possibility that the Chicago Blackhawks might be in the mix. If true, that would obviously make them the third West team involved. (Chicago would need to do some salary cap gymnastics and/or the Senators might be required to retain some salary to make a hypothetical deal work.)
The 31-year-old center can veto a trade to 10 teams. The Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders are the four East teams that Spezza wouldn’t accept a trade to, according to McKenzie. There’s no word on the six teams Spezza canceled out, but considering the pedigree of the teams rumored to be interested, it would be surprising if he’d reject a move to Anaheim, Chicago or St. Louis (if those are indeed the teams).
McKenzie reports that the Senators want to get a deal done around draft time, ideally landing a first-round pick as part of a package for Spezza.
Spezza has one year left on a deal that carries a $7 million cap hit. He scored 66 points in 75 games last season, though he struggled at times, seen in simplified form in his -26 rating. (In case you’re wondering, Spezza’s possession stats weren’t awful, yet they weren’t great either in 2013-14.)