The first player that needs to go is the one that looked like (a gerbil trying to find his way out of Richard Gere) during the Cup run. I challenge anyone to prove to me that Jason Spezza is a winner. I mean come on… do the people that defend him actually imagine this guy skating around SBP with the cup? If not, then what are we waiting for before we trade him? Oh wait… we’re waiting that his no-trade clause kicks in and he handcuffs us with his demand to only be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Hamilton Steelers or whatever they will be called.

The fact is we need a defenseman because Phillips and Volchenkov banking passes off the glass ain’t going to help Heatley get another 50 goal season. So even if a person loved the play of Spezza (which I need to add that person would probably be a penis-pincher).. if that person knows anything about calculating numbers he would have to admit that Spezza needs to go. Simple fact, he’s the only one worth trading without a no-trade clause.

But what about a first line center? Well that would be our orange tanned owner and our freaking grey hair GM’s job to receive an adequate center in return. Obviously a center that is cheaper and that would produce less points then Spezza but with the extra cash we can sign a solid offensive defensemen. Add to that if BM does his job correctly we should be receiving some young talented players in return that can fill out the void left from the departures of Neil and Comrie. These same young players probably already won a Pee-wee or Novice championship in their career unlike our face of the franchise with the smile and laugh we all can’t stand (except the penis-pinchers).

Does anyone seriously care about the Neil contract talk updates? Any fighter that only produces 10 pts in the regular season should not receive a contract offer with 7 numbers. I’m sure Gainey would recommend that BM does so, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he listened to him since both have a history of signing players/coaches to contracts and regretting/firing the signing a couple days later. I still laugh when I see Montreal fans with their number 17 jersey…. seriously?

Now let’s figure out the problem with the blueline. I guess that the point our GM is trying to make is that we always need depth. Ok we get it Bryan, we have crappy depth on the blueline. Now can you trade some D away before you trade our other first round pick for Hal Gill. ~ Marc

Spezza and penis pinching? Sweet. It’s not bad enough that a slew of people find this blog by Googling Jason Spezza and his fiancee’s name. Now I can have people find this blog by Googling “Jason Spezza penis”. Thanks Marc.

1. Revamp the D. It’s the most glaring problem with the team, IMO. It’s pretty obvious that if we can get a taker, Smith has to go. Not just him though, one of Phillips or Volchie should go as well, as they both make about the same as Kuba, but are far less versatile. We could probably get a (very) good pick and/or prospect for either of these guys. I know Phillips has a NTC, but there’s no harm in asking. Maybe just the mention of it would force him to get his ass in gear next year.

2. Try and trade Heachoo. I know this is a very contentious issue with fans. Heachoo is a very one-dimensional player. It also happens to be the best possible dimension. He scores. And he’s also the guy on the team who’d get us the biggest return, the kind of return that we could turn this franchise around in a few years to be contenders. I personally don’t think he is as valuable to the team as Spezza, who IMO has a goal-scoring upside that has yet to be fully tapped. He’s also a better (slightly) skater and set-up guy. For Heater, we’d take no less than a top five pick, a major blue-chip prospect with top pairing/line potential. No less, probably more.

3. Try and move Fish. This, again, is contentious with fans, and would be a move to make if unable to move Heatley. Fish is a good player, even if we all agree he’s overpaid. He’s a playoff guy, IMO. However, a run for the cup is not in the cards for a while. A lot of teams have interest in Fish apparently.

4. Do not resign guys who are past their prime (attn Comrie) even at discounts. It’s about building a winner, not just signing random guys who don’t fit in to the long-term plan. I guess we could move him at the deadline next year to a contender if he were to sign at a discount. But personally, I wouldn’t sign him.

5. Move spare parts that don’t fit in with the long term plan. Everybody has written this in their responses, some of them deal exclusively with this. Most will have creative ways of landing Hedman this year or Hall the next for Neil’s negotiating rights. The truth is, however, you have to give something to get something, and, in general, if you give a headache, you get someone else’s back. It can work out in your favour, but won’t turn a franchise around.

5. What the lord giveth, he can taketh away. Or something like that. I know the big moves involve guys with ntc’s. That BM’s fucking problem, cause he’s the guy who was giving them out like herpes at a Phish concert when he was still pumped on endorphins after the run. Suck it up Bryan. You made your bed, buddy. Plus, it might not be that hard, once you tell them we’re rebuilding. If these guys refuse to waive after all avenues have been tried: explaining, asking, begging, threatening, fist-pounding, etc… It’s gotta be Spez. I am loath to write this, as I feel he could be a valuable piece of the puzzle going forward, but we are a franchise in limbo right now., not on the way up or down. Destined for years of mediocrity. Not good enough to make a real run even if we do eke out one of the last couple playoff berths, but not bad enough to get a franchise player in the draft who could greatly expedite the rebuild that, IMO, will inevitably take place. It’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better. But if we take measure, it will get better, and fast. We may suck for a year or two. But we’ll be a young and exciting team on the rise, instead of an old team on a slow decline. That, IMO, is something worth looking forward to. But what do I know, I’m just some dude who watches WAY too much hockey. ~ Patrick

Note to readers — If you want a surefire way to get your email published in a future edition of the mailbag, make a more random reference than the use of herpes at a Phish concert.

Graeme, I have this fear that Ottawa’s hands are tied with bad contracts, NTCs, and players who have bad trade value right now. It also does not help matters that Ottawa has a terrible cap situation. If the cap decreases after next season as expected and Ottawa holds onto Spezza. What the hell will we do? We will be screwed! ~ Grant, L.

Grant, get down off that ledge! I feel your pain though. For the reasons you stated above, I think that’s why the Sens HAVE to trade Jason Spezza. With Heatley and Alfredsson having NTCs, they’re not going anywhere. Mike Fisher’s NTC expires after next season as well, so things aren’t as bleak as people make out in regards to the cap situation. But back to Spezza. I don’t think there’s any question that aside from Karlsson, Ottawa doesn’t have any blue-chip prospects who are ready to step in and contribute. Even then, from Bryan Murray’s comments, it sounds like he’s content to Karlsson try and survive in the NHL rather than hold him off a year and then come in once he’s grown a little bit more. With Spezza’s NTC kicking in on July 1st, Ottawa could essentially parlay Spezza into a some combination of ready NHL players/prospects/picks and hopefully be able to sign someone who can play a two-way game and replace some of his production. The motto for the past two seasons has been an emphasis on depth and with such an unbalanced offense, a Spezza trade could bring in the assets and create some financial flexibility to help.

I think there are a couple of good players that are UFA this summer, that could possably fill the 2nd line spot but wouldn’t cost much to sign:

Todd Bertuzzi – 44 points in 66 games — (paid 1.95 mill this season)

Erik Cole – 42 points in 80 games — (paid 4 mill this season)

Brian Gionta – 60 points in 81 games — (paid 4 mil this season)

Viktor Kozlov – 41 points in 67 games –(paid 2.5 mill this seaon)

I have a feeling Cole will want the same salary (athough if he wins another Cup, it would be hard to say no to that) but other then him, I don’t think any of them will be getting a raise this off season (maybe Bertuzzi, but only like another 500k or so).

I would rather have a guy like Cole or Bertuzzi for the 2nd line than Comrie, and you could probably get any of these guys for the same price but that’s just my opinion. ~ Nick

I think of all the guys that you mentioned, Gionta’s the most palatable. Bertuzzi will stay out West. Kozlov signed with a KHL team and Eric Cole has joined the likes of Ben Mulroney (went to Duke) as a guy who should never have left Carolina. That being said, I can’t envision Ottawa having the money to sign Gionta.

When I read the mailbag invite topic, it caused some debate at work. What kind of outlook would we prefer as fans? The Toronto one that has them allegedly selling the farm for a shot at Tavares or the one in Ottawa that has an average team with a maxed out cap situation? ~ Jason, R.

Ah, great question and two entirely situations — The one that’s in Toronto where fans are baited into Brian Burke’s bravado that he can land Tavares and our current state of limbo. I know many Sens fans will crack on Burke for being delusional but whatever. MLSE brought in Burke for his bold style. Okay, he’ll probably overpay to get that top pick but fans publicly know what direction this franchise is headed. Ottawa, like you mentioned, is in a completely different situation. Fans have no clue what to expect this season. Instead, we’re trying to talk ourselves into the fact that a second line of Foligno/Fisher/Shannon isn’t that bad. If Ottawa doesn’t play up to standards, Bryan Murray could be out of a job for not moving some guys while their trade value was high.

Thanks for all of the emails guys and keep sending in any Senators thoughts, ideas, jokes, etc.