Spezza Market Heating Up and Ottawa FD Boot Drive this Saturday (ft. Mark Borowiecki)

Whether this is an indication that teams interested are losing interest in meeting the asking price for Ryan Kesler or have spoken to Paul Stastny’s agent and are unwilling to meet his salary demands, the Spezza sweepstakes are ramping up.

Teams like the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues have been rumoured as the frontrunners in any prospective trade, with teams teams like the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks reportedly kicking the tires on a deal.

In the East, it’s a little less clear who the interested parties would be, but in an interview on TSN 1200, Bryan Murray did indicate that a few teams on Jason’s list of teams that he could not be traded to had inquired on Spezza. In that same interview, Murray expressed confidence that Spezza would waive his NTC to go to one of those teams.

“I hope so. I’ve talked to his agent, Rick Curran, a fair amount lately and I’ve asked him that question. I’ve said, ‘There are a couple of teams that are on the list that have expressed interest,’ and their first come back is, ‘We’d like to see if you could do a deal with the teams that we’ve provided to you, but if you get a good offer, come back to us.’

“I think it’s at that time in a career where, if a player wants to move, he might have to give a little bit for that to happen and I think Jason is ready to do that at the end of the day if I called him.”

The Islanders and Panthers are teams that fit that bill.

Isles general manager Garth Snow has already gone on record saying that his team’s fifth overall selection is available in a trade for immediate help and his team could use a number two center to play behind John Tavares. The Islanders also boast one of the richest and deepest farm systems in the NHL.

Armed with the first overall selection in Friday’s draft, Florida’s Dale Tallon is not averse to making a bold move and like the Islanders, the Panthers are credited with having a talented and deep farm system of their own.

Michalek Listening to Offers

Teams were permitted to start talking to impending UFAs as of 12:01 am this morning and although the Senators indicated that the one UFA that they wanted to bring back was Michalek, by using the word “stupid” to explain their unwillingness to go to whatever lengths necessary to bring him back into the fold, one has to question how much they really want to keep him in the first place.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Michalek’s knee problems and his production away from Jason Spezza has made me question whether it would be smart to allocate the team’s limited resources on such a veteran player.

This could simply be a case of the team’s internal budget saving the organization from itself.

Ottawa Fire Department Boot Drive

This Saturday (June, 28th), the Ottawa Fire Department is holding its annual Boot Drive for Muscular Dystrophy Canada at the Bayshore Shopping Centre from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki will be at the Mall from 12:00-1:00 pm signing autographs and the Ottawa Senators’ cheerleading team will also be in attendance to lend their support – although there is no word on whether they have planned a flash mob for the occasion.

“Sparky” the fire dog will also be there from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, so make sure that you get out there and support this worthwhile cause.

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