SPEZZA...... TO TRADE OR NOT TO TRADE
The Ottawa Senators had their best scorer demand to be traded last year and now it looks like their best set up man wants out as well. Another weird thing about the whole situation is that Spezza is due a 4 million bonus after July 1 too. (Murray hands out 4 million dollar bonuses like he is giving out bowls of soup at a homeless shelter). The difference between the 2 is that Heatley went public and Spezza has not.
The sens really took it on the chin for Heatley with only getting Cheechoo, Michalek and a 2nd rounderin exchange for the disgruntled winger. If Cheechoo could have been a shadow of the player he had been in San Jose and Michalek could stay healthy it would not have been so bad (the Sens did have a decent season but it had more to due with the emergence of Regin and Elliott)
Murray has said that if he cannot get the right deal for Spezza he will not deal him. Im not saying he is lying but I strongly doubt the owner Melnyk wants to cut another check for 4 million and have the player go public if things don't go his way or decides he can't handle scrutiny from the fans.
Enter the Calgary Flames. Most teams outside of a couple could use a number 1 centre but maybe none more desperate then the flames. After a disastrous season last year the flames are looking to redeem themselves for their under preforming season. Also the one thing that the Flames have is what the Sens will be losing. Anton Volchenkov is commanding a big raise for a shut down defenseman (rumoured upwards of 5 million per) The flames have an abundance of veteran d-men with shut-down capabilities. Robyn Regehr is only 2 years older than Volchenkov and makes 4 million per for the next 3 seasons with both of these teams already over the 50 million mark (ott: 50.446 and cal: 53.879 according to nhlnumbers.com) another body would have to accompany Regehr to complete a deal. The hot rumour at the draft was it was going to be Daymond Langkow who is signed at a 4.5 cap hit for the next 2 seasons.
Whether this trade happens or not we will not know for a few days yet but it maybe a trade that could actually help both teams. Iginla needs help on the first line and the team in general needs offense. For Ottawa they are losing their best defense man and Regehr would completely fill the void from Volchenkov or at least pretty close and Langkow would provide some grit up front and provide some secondary scoring. A tandem of Fisher and Langkow could be a 1 and 1a centre combination they may not loose to much scoring from losing Spezza especially if you take into account the fact that Langkow is more defensive minded and could potentially lead to less goals against.
If this deal happens like this the Sens would take on 1.5 million more in salary which combined with having most of their roster already under contract for the upcoming season and the cap going up to over 59 million they would be fine financially. (it would be like gaining a roster player for 1.5) For the Flames they would get the #1 centre they have coveted and would save 1.5 million to possibly sign one of Higgins, White or Nystrom or use the money in the free agent market.
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