Should Sens trade Spezza?

DON BRENNAN, BRUCE GARRIOCH AND CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

BRUCE GARRIOCH: Not the time to do anything. This is a decision that must wait until the off-season. I just don't know why everybody is so hot-to-trot to trade this guy. I don't get it. You WILL NOT get value next week if you do it.

DON BRENNAN: I think if you're intent on making a significant alteration (I didn't say "blow up," Gene) and you're willing to do that at the expense of losing a perennial 100-point man (they don't sit on every curb) who will probably always frustrate coaches with his insistence in doing certain things his way, then yeah, now is the time to do it. I think a lot of teams are capable of winning the Cup this season. I think Spezza could put a few over the top. His cap hit over the last fifth of the season or whatever shouldn't be too bad, and in their desperation to get through a window while it is only opened a short time, there would be GMs willing to offer up a nice package of prospects and/or draft picks and, just as importantly, take him off Ottawa's books. Phew.

CHRIS STEVENSON: If the Senators were inclined to trade Spezza, I don't know if they could find the right trading partner now. He's a huge cap hit going forward and still has about, what -- close to $2 million left on his deal this year? That said, the Tampa Bay Lightning did manage to move Brad Richards at the deadline last year. I just think there might be more options at the draft.

GARRIOCH: A nice package? At the deadline. No. This is about teams loading up.

STEVENSON: I don't know why you would trade Spezza. To get him off the books? So you can just turn around and spend the money on somebody else? Has there been a free agent who's delivered? Or wind up with a guy somebody else is trying to dump?

BRENNAN: With prospects and picks Bruce. I never said I would trade him. Don't think I could. I know he's a rare bird that doesn't fly by Ottawa very often. But are the Senators close to being good enough to win the Cup now? No. And no-trade clauses say you can't trade Heatley, Fisher, Alfredsson or Phillips. So I'm not sure what the other options are. That's why B. Murray makes the big bucks, I suppose.

STEVENSON: Given Tim is away playing golf or some such thing, I'll play his part today...

BAINES (Via Stevenson): Forget Spezza. Who was your favourite Beverly Hillbillies character? I liked Jethro. That rope belt was funny, huh?

BRENNAN: Hey, Tim. Zip it.

BAINES (Via Stevenson): I'll zip it when you start bringing it, Don. I like Miss Hathaway's accent, too.

STEVENSON: Bruce, keep track of the words like you do.

GARRIOCH: I'm trying. I'm trying. This Miss Hathaway stuff has thrown me.

BRENNAN: Hey, Tim, you're going to love Chris Neil when he's playing for your Leafs next season. Brian Burke's gotta be licking his chops.

GARRIOCH: That's where Neil is going if he becomes a UFA. He's just going to move down the highway. I told you, though, Don. He will re-sign here next week. I stand by that.

BAINES (Via Stevenson): Yeah, and the Senators won't have anybody to fight him. Go Leafs go.

BRENNAN: Tim really is a bloody moron, isn't he, Bruce?

GARRIOCH: Stooge (another of his favourite shows) is more appropriate.

BRENNAN: Chris, you do a better Baines than Baines. I hope you're right about Neil staying Bruce. He's been outstanding in his role this season. He's a guy who can play, too, and don't give me the crap that he's "only" got two goals and four assists. Everybody's production is down. He's a 10- 15-goal guy who's going to be in the top 15 hitters and stick up for everybody on his team. The Senators are going to wind up with some guy who can fight and play two minutes a night.

STEVENSON: Neil is going to get more from somebody than the Senators are willing to pay. This is his big chance to cash in.

GARRIOCH: Can't disagree, Chris. But, maybe he wants to stay here. He might take less. I know teams want him. They ask me about him all the time. Neil will be a valuable commodity as a UFA. He has never wanted to be dealt in the past. I don't know why he'd want to move this time.

BRENNAN: Bruce, you love Ottawa, too, but would you stay at the Sun if somebody offered you $800,000 to work elsewhere?

GARRIOCH: I'm just saying that maybe he will want to stay here and he'll take less.

STEVENSON: Neil's fists won't be hard to replace, but finding the combo of toughness and the ability to play 12 minutes or whatever will be.

BRENNAN: Thanks, Chris. I think that's what we've been saying. Do your Habs want to move Big Georges? That's who the Senators need if they're losing Neil. If you're only going to have one fighter, might as well have the best.

GARRIOCH: The next guy out of here will be Christoph Schubert. He wil likely be moved by the end of the week. They aren't going to keep him if he's not playing.

BRENNAN: Thanks, Bruce.

STEVENSON: It wouldn't be a Digital Faceoff without Bruce making a Schubert trade reference.

BAINES (Via Stevenson): Let me pick the three stars. 1. Jethro. 2. Me. 3. CJ. Don, you were the fifth star.


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