Thinking Out Loud

By now I’m sure you’ve all read Bruce Garrioch’s report that states Bryan Murray has no intention of trading Jason Spezza. If you haven’t here’s an excerpt from the article:

While there has been plenty of speculation that the 25-year-old Spezza, who will make $8 million US next season, will be dealt before his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1, 2010, Senators GM Bryan Murray says his star centre isn’t going anywhere.

“He’s a top-end forward,” said Murray. “I watched him at the world championships and I thought he was really good. I believe Team Canada has to look at him as a real candidate for the Olympic team. Our judgment of Jason is somewhat fair: We see a level of play that he can get to some nights and other nights he’s not quite there.

“I’ve watched him. He’s in the gym every day. He’s working with our strength coach. He wants to be a real top-end guy and be more consistent. To be there, he has to be stronger and he recognizes that. I don’t see any need to do anything other than to get him to play at the top level every night.”

Okay. Assuming that Sens management has decided to hold onto Spezza past the July 1st deadline when his NTC kicks into effect and assuming Bryan Murray adds that coveted top six forward that he keeps alluding to, a look at next year’s crop of free agents has to raise a little bit of concern for where the money is going to come from to retain the team’s own free agents next summer.

Here’s the list:

Anton Volchenkov (unrestricted), Nick Foligno (restricted), Ryan Shannon (unrestricted), Alexandre Picard (restricted), Brian Lee (restricted) and Chris Campoli (restricted).

Compounding the problem is that Foligno and Shannon are expected to carry some of the secondary scoring weight this year. If they’re even mildly productive, it’s probably safe to assume that their salaries could very well double. So what do you do Sens fans? What are these guys worth? Do you consider trading Volchenkov? Do you move Kuba after his NTC expires after one year?

Let me hear from you.