Email Hot Stove: Where Will Jason Spezza End Up and For What?

A Silver Seven roundtable discussion.

Question: If you think Jason Spezza will be traded in this off-season, where do you think he'll be sent? And what do you think the likely return might be?

Adnan: To the St. Louis Blues for Patrik Berglund, a prospect and a first round pick. My backup guess is to the Anaheim Ducks for Hampus Lindholm, a prospect and a second round pick but that is ripping Anaheim off big time. Maybe if the Ducks are desperate though.

nkb: You don't have high hopes for the return if the best the Sens can do is a blue chipper and fodder or a good 3C and a high pick.

Adnan: Yeah I don't really like the St. Louis package but it is a one year rental. Would love if we get my Anaheim package though.

Peter: The thing is, I don't think other teams would see the Spezza acquisition as a one-year rental--they'll likely have hopes that they can re-sign him, but will also be satisfied that they'll get an opportunity to audition him for this season before committing major money or term to him (sort of like what Ottawa did with Craig Anderson a few seasons ago).

Even if teams see it as a rental, though, the price should be high: Thomas Vanek was definitely acquired as a rental by the Islanders, yet they still gave up a top-line player (Matt Moulson), a first-rounder, and a second-rounder. That's a pretty good package for a player who should realistically have less value than Jason "Point-Per-Game" Spezza.

It's been a long time since a player with Spezza's resume has been traded. I think (or maybe I'm just hoping) that the return will be pretty darn good. It sounds like Bryan Murray is limiting his availability to Western Conference teams (a pretty good strategy, in my opinion, although I'd love to get Christian Ehrhoff out of Buffalo), so I'm guessing packages like these might be reasonable:

Winnipeg Jets: Evander Kane, 2014 second-rounder
Nashville Predators: Viktor Stalberg, Pontus Aberg, 2014 first-rounder
St. Louis Blues: Jay Bouwmeester, Vladimir Sobotka, 2014 second-rounder

Anaheim Ducks: Hampus Lindholm, Richard Rakell, 2014 first-rounder

The most interesting possibility arises from the fact that a few of these teams (Winnipeg, St. Louis, Anaheim) might also be looking for veteran goaltending support, which could mean a package of Spezza and Anderson would be put together. That would become a gigantic deal.

Adnan: Maybe you are right, I certainly hope we get better than my St. Louis guess. I think the limiting availability to Western Conference teams is dumb personally. If Spezza really wants to go to Toronto, he can go to Toronto next year. Or Detroit, or wherever he wants.

Peter: Trading him within the conference--to say nothing of trading him within the division--is just shooting yourself in the foot. Although I think Spezza's offensive production will decline precipitously beginning after, say, three seasons, that still leaves him with three seasons of very good to elite scoring numbers. If he's putting those up while playing for a divisional rival, it hurts Ottawa's playoff chances even more than just subtracting him from the lineup already does.

Adnan: Sure, but it is 1-year. After that he can go wherever he wants.

Peter: True, but the team that acquires him gets a year-long opportunity to convince him to stay there. If he's traded to California, I think the team that acquires him has a pretty compelling case to get him to re-sign there.

Adnan: Spezza's going to Toronto next year Peter. His uncle told Dave Hodge. You know it, I know it.

Amelia: I trade him to Detroit if the package was awesome and included things like my soul and our collective innocence. Realistically, I wouldn't trade him in division unless the package was significantly better.

Adnan: At least he stays in the L family.

Ary: "The Detroit Red Wings re-sign Daniel Alfredsson, sign Dany Heatley, and trade for Jason Spezza"

Brad: That's almost a fair karmic trade-off...

Amelia: All of this would be a lot easier to speculate about if we knew which teams were on his "no trade" list.

Mrs. O: I think St. Louis is a viable option. If they're smart...they'll trade for a D-man. Would like to see:
Shattenkirk, Rattie, and a 2nd/3rd. That's probably not realistic, but that's what I'd like.
I've been saying all along what Peter said: Vanek yielded a tonne. Obviously Buffalo dealt with the Islanders, but I don't see how Spezza can't garner a nice return too. After watching Vanek in Montreal, I'd MUCH rather Spezza.
I can see a Ducks deal as well, and the package I'd expect is similar to what you all have been drawing up.
Toronto may be a possibility if Spezza says that's where he wants to go, which wouldn't surprise me seeing as he's from there. IF that's where he goes, package would probably be: Kadri, Gardiner, 2nd/3rd.
I'd also like to point out that teams fearful of 1 year rental with offer conditional picks instead of straight up picks with the condition being if Spezza re-signs.

Peter: There are 10 on his list, right? Let's speculate...Edmonton, Carolina, New York Islanders, Buffalo, Columbus, Calgary, Winnipeg, New Jersey, Nashville, Phoenix

Mrs. O: I'd assume no trade list is (purely my own speculation):

NY Islanders
New Jersey (they could use him too)
***Those are my wildcards.

Adnan: I can tell you from my sources that on July 1, 2012 it was likely:

Mrs. O: I'd assume with the success of Colorado and the recent marijuana legalization (JOKE), it's more attractive there now. Also Columbus had more success and Nashville didn't, which is why I think NSH over CBS.

Adnan: Didn't he have to name them after the 11/12 season?

Mrs. O: I thought you could re-submit. Anyone know the rule?

Amelia: I don't know if there is a hard rule, if there is it's been added since he signed his contract. I think the 11/12 list is what we're going on.

Adnan: Colorado doesn't need a centre anyway.

Mrs. O: That's true.

Amelia: Which players, who have been traded within the past few years, compare with Spezza? Is it Gaborik? Nash? St. Louis? Vanek? Someone else?

Peter: Bobby Ryan seems like a good template, considering the limited term that was on his deal: Return was a good young player, good prospect, first-round pick.

And maybe I'm biased, but I think Spezza's point-per-game history and the fact that he's an inexpensive centreman with ample playoff experience means he'll have more value than Ryan had. That's part of the reason I think we might be surprised by his value--especially since, by all accounts, there will be several teams making offers to acquire Spezza.

Mrs. O: Yes, I think that Bryan Murray can certainly use that as leverage, like when you seek price matching at grocery stores. BMurr: "Hey other GMs, Holmgren said he'd give us Giroux, Simmonds, and a 1st, plus retain salary. What can you give us?"

Brad: [talking about trade-clauses] It's a contract-by-contract thing, not sure about Spezza's specifically.

Amelia: I like Adnan/Peter's Anaheim trades, and I like the potential return Peter suggest from Nashville. I'm not convinced about trading for Jay Bouwmeester, I think that would be a mistake and I think there are other players to target (Shattenkirk). However, if (and that's a big if) we try and upgrade the defense, I'm not convinced that move is made in a trade involving Jason Spezza. As much as it's frustrating listening to the Sens brass talk about upgrading forwards, if the whole top line leaves, someone will be added.
The suggestion that maybe Anderson might be added to the deal is interesting and I would be in favour of that. What changes in the asking price with Andy and Spezza leaving? Put another way, what's the return?

Mrs. O: Does anyone have anything else to add? Read an article listing Nashville Smashville as a possible Spezza maybe something like this could be possible:

To NSH: Spezza
To Sens: Josi, Taylor Beck/Pontus Aberg, 2nd?

Matt: On this note/thread...Did anyone read this Citizen interview with Paul MacLean?

Mac seems to think Spezz is gonna be around:

Citizen: If there’s anybody scrutinized as much as Erik, it’s Jason Spezza, do you think he will be back in a Senators uniform?

Paul Maclean: Well, I truly believe that. We need him. He’s been an offensive player in the league his whole career. We’ve asked him to make some changes in his game, that’s he’s continued to work on. And he needs to continue to work on them. But we certainly expect he’s going to be here.

Ary: I'd be happy w/ Josi + prospect or 2015 2nd rd pick. I'm doubtful that we get him though.

Matt: Now just to be clear before I take any guff, I'm not naive enough to think that Spezza is safe from a Citizen article. As a journalist, what I am saying is that in a public forum, if someone's future is shaky, why not be non-committal and say things like 'we are checking out different options' or 'we need to make changes and no one is really safe'?

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