Senators GM, Bryan Murray, put the onus of Spezza not being traded on Spezza after the NHL Draft by revealing that hewouldn’t approve a trade to the Nashville Predators. Nashville GM, David Poile lost no sleep over it and made the most surprising deal of the first round in trading for James Neal, but you know who this should keep up at night? …..Jason Spezza.
Very few contenders, and even less with cap space, are looking for a thirty-year-old center with one year left on his deal. The Predators would have made him their center, both literally and figuratively. He would have Viktor Stalberg or Filip Forsberg on his line, or both if one could be versatile. Add to that, playing under Coach Peter Laviolette, who wouldn’t mind winning every game 5-4 and Spezza would be set for an amazing year statistically.
The Predators finished three points out of a playoff spot last year. So now imagine them with the trinity of Spezza as a first line center, Shea Webber as the top defenseman, and a healthy Pekka Rinne in goal all year. Although none of those players are spring chickens they could make playoff runs for a long time yet, and if one run catches fire his name could be on the cup.
Even if it doesn’t work out, he is an unrestricted free agent next year and he can go wherever he wants. But maybe Spezza is sleeping soundly with dreams of the Penguins or Blackhawks saving him from Canada’s capital, and that is what they will stay… dreams.
(Update: There are rumors circulating that Spezza may change his mind and that a modified trade may be reached with the Predators. I think both teams should give this trade a second chance.)