Hockey Central: Tampa Bay Enter the Spezza Sweepstakes?

Transcript:

Marek: “Bryan Murray says he has two serious offers for Jason Spezza. One would have to assume St. Louis would be one of them and perhaps Anaheim would be the other. Those seem to be two possible and likely destinations. What are you hearing Nick?”

Kypreos: “I’m hear a dark horse might be Tampa Bay here.”

MacLean: “And Nashville. And Nashville.”

Marek: “I think that Nashville is on his no-fly zone.”

MacLean: “Now. I know they were (interested) before the list came out.”

Kypreos: “Experience down the middle, there’s few teams that can’t use it and he’s attractive in terms of at least on a short-term. Spezza, to get traded now, would like the (contract) extension.”

MacLean: “Who was the number one centerman in Tampa in the playoffs? We talked about it for the entire playoff round – Chad Johnson.”

Kypreos: “Palat when he came back.”

MacLean: “Palat played on the wing with him, but you love Chad Johnson as a young player…”

Marek: “Tyler Johnson. (He came from) Spokane.”

MacLean: “Tyler Johnson. You love him as a young player, but you have got to get some experience down the middle there, so I think that may be a real legitimate one. And I think Anaheim (is another suitor).”

Kypreos: “There seems to be a good relationship between Yzerman and Spezza.”

Marek: “Yeesh. All those times… the Marty St. Louis thing with leaving him off the list and again, this is international… how many times does Steve Yzerman… it happened in Vancouver and left Spezza off. Brought him to camp and you know…”

Kypreos: “I don’t know. I hear that it’s okay. I do and maybe Stevie Yzerman looks at Jason Spezza and can feel like he’s going through the same things that (he) did – a very talented guy who can score points, but has not been able to get over the hump a little bit. Maybe there’s a bit of a bond that way, but yeah, people tell me that there seems to be something there between Spezza and Tampa Bay.”

MacLean: “Look, it really does make sense when you see how thin they were down the middle. No doubt about it, but it makes sense in Anaheim and it makes sense in St. Louis.”

Marek: “St. Louis needs something.”

Kypreos: “They need another big body presence and Spezza does have that.”

MacLean: “And listen, Ottawa needs something back in return desperately bad. You’ve got a tough scenario developing in Ottawa with Spezza moving out and Bobby Ryan going into his unrestricted free agent season. And I haven’t heard any contract talks and people saying, I mean whether it matters or anything, people saying that he hasn’t bought a house there, but that would be a major concern if you happen to lose Spezza and Bobby Ryan. You need… I mean, Bobby Ryan can walk as an unrestricted free agent. Now obviously Bryan (Murray) wouldn’t let it get to that. He’d move him at the deadline, but if that happens, potentially we’re talking rebuild in Ottawa. Not rebuild, but re-establish themselves.”

Marek: “Well, this is the end of that last era Ottawa Senator, right. Alfredsson’s gone. Jason Spezza will be traded. The last men standing are Chris Phillips and Chris Neil. And after that, that era of the Ottawa Senators that cresciendoed in 2007 in the Stanley Cup Final, is done.”

MacLean: “But I mean, they’re not ready. I mean, I can’t believe they’re… this is a team that wants to make the playoffs desperately bad and has to get back on track. You’ve got to replace, what did Spezza have almost 60 points this year? And that’s having an injury-plagued season. I mean, he’s an 80-point guy and if he goes to Tampa Bay or Anaheim playing behind Backes, behind Getzlaf and not having the tight-checking that he’s used to and slides in as the number two guy and doesn’t have to go up against the other team’s best defence pair and biggest line, Jason Spezza could have a heck of a year and play with good people on both of those teams – all three of those teams.”

Marek: “Well that’s the thing too. On the Ottawa games last year, we brought this up countless times. How many times did Jason Spezza have to look at the game sheet to see who was playing on the left and the right side? It was a revolving door of wingers.”

MacLean: “He had nine different wingers at one point.”

Kypreos: “I would agree with Bryan (Murray) here in that there should be a good market for him.”

MacLean: “I hope there is for Bryan.”

Kypreos: “I look back at when it was clear that (Jeff) Carter was leaving Columbus and we, you thought at times… Carter in Columbus, he could be out of the league in three or four years. And it was incredible. One of the biggest things that impressed me during the Final was him. Between the years, Carter had gone to another level and Spezza might be that guy. A lot of teams should look at him and think, ‘He could be Jeff Carter for us.’”

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