Jason Spezza asks Ottawa Senators to trade him
Jason Spezza, captain of the Ottawa Senators and former No. 2 overall pick, has asked for a trade out of Canada’s capital city. Via NHL.com, Senators general manager Brian Murray made the announcement, as well as the statement that he will try to accomodate the 30-year-old center’s request.
Spezza has played his entire NHL career with Ottawa, who took him with the second pick in the 2001 draft. He joined the Senators in 2002, and immediately stepped up as an offensive force, notching 21 points in a 33-game rookie season. He went on to post two 90+ point seasons (’05-’06 and ’07-’08), as well as 87 points in ’06’-’07, when the Ottawa Senators went to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final (though the ended up losing in six games to the Anaheim Ducks). Injuries hampered him for most of the past few seasons, as he missed a combined 42 games from 2009-11, before rebounding in 2011-12 with an 84-point campaign in 80 games.
An injury cost him all but five games of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, but Spezza had a strong ’13-’14. After being named captain to replace the departed Daniel Alfredsson in that role prior to the start of the year, he played in 75 games while posting 23 goals and 66 points. Despite that statistical success, however, Spezza’s first year as Ottawa’s captain ended in disappointment, as they missed the playoffs by five points.
So, if traded, where will he land? He’s certainly going to attract interest in the trade market. He’s in his prime at 30 years of age, and coming off a productive season. Durability is a concern, but when healthy, Spezza is a solid top-six center. Some possible trade partners for Ottawa concerning a potential Spezza deal:
Anaheim Ducks– the Ducks don’t have a true No. 2 center behind Ryan Getzlaf, and these two teams have made some deals in the recent past, most notably the trade that sent Bobby Ryan (a former No. 2 overall pick, just like Spezza) to Ottawa. The Ducks have the trade ammo in terms of picks and prospects to make a move happen- one of those picks is the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft, which Ottawa sent to Anaheim as part of the Ryan deal, and could be returned to the Senators to land Spezza.
Dallas Stars- similar to Anaheim, the Stars have their top-line center in Tyler Seguin, but Cody Eakin isn’t the answer at the second-line pivot spot. Dallas swung a bold move to land Seguin last offseason, and has a bevy of solid prospects (Jamie Oleksiak, Brett Ritchie, Radek Faksa to name a few) and the No. 14 pick in this year’s draft that they could send to Ottawa. The Stars took some big strides this past season, ending a six-year playoff drought before losing in the first round to Anaheim, and someone like Spezza could help make them a more consistent threat.
Tampa Bay Lightning- they’ve got a couple of promising young centermen in Alex Killorn and Calder Trophy nominee Tyler Johnson, but the addition of Spezza would give them a proven threat behind top center Steven Stamkos, possibly allowing for a deep playoff push next season. Like Anaheim, they have two first-round draft picks this to use in a possibly package for Spezza. The Lightning also have a prospect pool, highlighted by goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and last year’s No. 3 overall pick Jonathan Drouin, that is considered one of the best in the league, and could be dipped into for trade ammo. And also like Anaheim, Tampa Bay and Ottawa have been trade partners before- the Lightning acquired ’13-’14 Vezina Trophy nominee Ben Bishop from the Senators at the trade deadline the previous season.