Dreger Speaks: Updates Spezza’s Trade Market

Darren Dreger was featured in another ‘Insider’ television segment on TSN in which he primarily focused on ways in which the Senators are creatively trying to improve Jason Spezza’s value on the market.

Per Dreger:

“Well some believe that the Ottawa Senators are willing to allow the interested teams the opportunity – presuming that the deal is well underway – the opportunity to speak with Spezza’s agent, Rick Curran, about extending his contract. He has currently one-year remaining on that deal, so perhaps that sweetens the pot. The Sens are still looking for a multi-piece type of transaction, so you’re looking for a first round pick, you’re looking for a prospect and you’re looking for an NHL player.”

It simply makes sense for the Senators to explore this avenue. Fears have already permeated the fan base thanks to the comments that Bryan Murray made at the NHL’s latest general managers meeting.

By using that specific platform at a time when the NHL’s media were in New York City covering the Stanley Cup Final, Murray tried to create a buzz by letting the hockey world know that Jason Spezza had asked to be traded. While it remains to be seen whether it had Murray’s desired effect, the sentiment amongst most Senators fans was that it was a sign of weakness – that Murray simply wasn’t generating the level of interest or getting the kind of return that fans were hoping for.

Credit has to be given to the organization however for exploring this route and doing their best to maximize the value coming back on a trade – even if it is something that every rational general manager who is just doing his due diligence would do.

One problem to offering teams a window to reach an extension is that the process is a two-way street. Just one-year removed from hitting unrestricted free agency for the first time, it remains to be seen whether Jason Spezza has any particular interest in passing up the opportunity to test the market and hand pick his next destination.

For this reason, maybe it helps explain why the Senators are looking at other trade scenarios involving Spezza.

Here’s Dreger again:

“Now, there are some who also believe that the Senators might consider doing a one-for-one (trade) – a player for player. But if Spezza’s going out, the player coming in has to be a top six forward and a younger player.”

Awesome. If the Senators can use Spezza and aggressively add another piece to get the young type of forward (think a Schwartz or a Tarasenko from St. Louis) that they desperately could use, then that’s would be ideal. Not only would it align with Eugene Melnyk’s competitive mantra and help them vie for a playoff spot (hello playoff revenues!), but it would add another strong young asset to this team’s young core.

As I’ve articulated in other posts, Dreger did comment on their being another hiccup in the Senators’ attempts to move Spezza – teams passively waiting on the trade market to see if they can exhaust the possibility of acquiring Paul Statsny in unrestricted free agency.

“Also gumming up the works among centers is the potential availability of Colorado’s Paul Statsny. Now if he’s willing to take less than the $6.6 million he earned last year with the Avalanche, then there’s a good chance Colorado re-signs him and he stays there. If he goes to unrestricted free agency, then that obviously clouds the process for Spezza, for Thornton, for Kesler and etc. because teams are saying, ‘Why would I give good assets away in a trade when I can potentially get a hold of Paul Statsny for dollars?’”

To watch video of this segment, you can follow this link.

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