During TSN’s broadcast last night, their panel of insiders addressed a number of rumours related to the Ottawa Senators in their ‘Insider Trading’ segment.
You can watch video of the segment here, but I have included the pertinent information related to the Senators below.
On yesterday’s revelation that Jason Spezza’s name has been added to the rumour mill…
Darren Dreger: “Right, and a bit of a sketchy denial by Bryan Murray and the Sens, but in saying that, I think we have to keep it in perspective here. Are the Ottawa Senators shopping their captain? Absolutely not. But a couple of teams have recognized that Spezza’s name was brought up in a general sense, in a bigger dialogue. Now is there time to create a trade of this magnitude before Wednesday? Very, very unlikely. But do we see a day when Jason Spezza absolutely gets traded? No question about that, but Bryan Murray and the Sens have spent a lot of time this season trying to find a winger to play with Spezza. So this is all part of the general dialogue that happens at this time of year.”
Having corroborated what The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta wrote – Pagnotta put out on Twitter that the Senators were “exploring the market on Jason Spezza”—it’s interesting to hear Dreger crack back on the comments that Bryan Murray made yesterday to the Ottawa media.
For what it’s worth, The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell provided some clarity on whether the Senators had contacted Spezza’s agent as a prerequisite to any potential deal.
Jason Spezza's agent confirms his client has not been asked to supply Senators with a list of teams to which he'd accept a trade.
— Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) March 3, 2014
Of course, this doesn’t mean anything. The Senators don’t need Spezza’s agent’s permission to explore the market and gauge potential interest should they choose to make Spezza available this summer. They only need a list of teams or Spezza’s permission to waive once: 1) they get an offer that they simply cannot refuse; or 2) they want to escalate discussions with a particular team and want to know whether Spezza would be amenable to going there; rather than waste their time negotiating and seeing the deal fall through because he will not waive to go there. (ie. a la Dany Heatley to Edmonton.)
The biggest takeaway from Dreger’s comments is his conviction that we will see a day when Spezza absolutely gets traded. It’s certainly possible that Dreger just got lost in his words on live television, but in speaking so affirmatively on the subject, I’m guessing these Spezza rumours aren’t going to be going away anytime soon.
On Chris Phillips’ situation…
Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray is trying to get Chris Phillips signed. They’ve extended a one-year offer to Chris Phillips. He’s looking for a two-year deal. If they can’t come to an agreement on a one-year deal, then Chris Phillips could very well be in play between now and the 3:00 pm at the deadline.
And what are the Senators looking for in return for Phillips?
While the Senators contemplate giving Chris Phillips a 2 yr ext, what's fair trade return? Told Sens want a 1st round pick.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 4, 2014
On the possibility of acquiring Chris Stewart…
Bob McKenzie: "When the Buffalo Sabres acquired Chris Stewart from the St. Louis Blues on Friday, a lot of us thought there was going to be a very quick flip where Stewart would go to Ottawa and prospects would come back the other way. Right now, the talks are very cool between Buffalo and Ottawa. Not to say that it couldn’t happen, but it’s not close to happening at this point.”
It would be kind of funny to see the younger Murray actually make the deal with the intent of submarining any opportunity for Ottawa to make a deal with St. Louis. Reports indicate that Murray is still enamoured with a number of prospects within Ottawa’s system, so by acquiring Stewart, he essentially forces the Senators to deal exclusively with him. Moreover, with a year remaining on Stewart’s deal, it’s not like the Sabres can’t hold onto him until next year’s deadline or extend him a contract. Besides, the Sabres may need Stewart if they want to flip other assets and remain above the salary cap floor.