Sens GM will talk to ‘unhappy’ Spezza

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:53 PM ET

Bryan Murray plans to have a heart-to-heart chat with Jason Spezza.

The Senators GM told Sportsnet following GMs meetings before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final in Philadelphia on Wednesday that he will sit down with Spezza in the next three weeks before the centre’s no-movement clause kicks in July 1.

Spezza was unhappy after the Senators were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Penguins and complained to Murray about being booed by Ottawa fans.

There are indications Spezza may have asked for a trade during the meeting.

League sources say if the Senators are trying to deal Spezza they “haven’t heard” because Ottawa hasn’t actively been shopping him.

“He was a little unhappy at the end of the year,” Murray told the network. “I took it as being somewhat emotional more than anything. I haven’t talked to him in the last few weeks. I hope before July 1 to have that conversation.”

Murray wouldn’t confirm whether Spezza, who has five years and $35 million (all terms US) remaining on his contract, asked to be dealt.

“I think the coverage he felt he got and the fan reaction a couple of times left him kind of wanting a little bit. But I don’t think it’s beyond that,” said Murray. “My next conversation with him will be away from the emotion of playoff time to see what we can do and what we have to do.”

Murray doesn’t want to go through another summer like he did last year with Dany Heatley.

“(Spezza’s) not always going to satisfy everyone because he’s a skill player, not a gritty run-around guy. He’s not going to hit people — but we don’t want him to do that,” said Murray. “He probably gets lambasted a little more (by the fans) than an energy guy.”

Murray added he’s spoken to a couple of teams about moving Anton Volchenkov’s rights before the blueliner becomes a UFA on July 1.

As reported by the Ottawa Sun during the regular season, Volchenkov turned down the Senators’ five-year, $20-million offer after the Olympics.

“I’ve talked to a couple of teams, but the money frightens some of the (GMs) right now.”

The Capitals and Rangers are considered to be potential suitors.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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