Spezza's a tough sell

Since it's tough to move big contracts, the best bet for the Sens might be to give Jason Spezza...

Since it's tough to move big contracts, the best bet for the Sens might be to give Jason Spezza more offensive support. (QMI Agency file)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:11 PM ET

LOS ANGELES — Jason Spezza fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

And the Senators’ star centre can hold off on ordering the moving van.

Right now, it’s doubtful he’ll be going anywhere.

While Spezza told GM Bryan Murray at the end of the season he wouldn’t “object” to being dealt out of Ottawa, the belief is the Senators will have a tough time moving Spezza if they decide they want to trade him.

If the Senators decide they want to deal Spezza, it’s likely they’ll do it in the next six days. Spezza’s “no move” clause kicks in July 1 and the Senators don’t want to let him dictate his destination.

“Nothing going on with him,” said Murray in a text message Wednesday.

Not only does he have a $4-million bonus due on July 1, Spezza has a cap hit of $7 million a year over the next five years.

While Spezza has his faults defensively, he has plenty of offensive creativity and would be difficult to replace.

The Senators aren’t going to make a trade just for the sake of saving Spezza a little grief.

“I talked to a couple teams just to gauge if there’s any interest, and one team — one team only — said they’d maybe consider it and talk to me this week. Beyond that, that’s all. I’m not calling around by any means,” Murray told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. If the Senators are forced to pay the bonus, it’s doubtful they’ll move Spezza.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is still trying to recover the $4-million bonus he paid Dany Heatley last summer before he was finally dealt to San Jose.

Since it’s tough to move big contracts in the salary cap era, the best bet for the Senators might be to give Spezza more offensive support and bring in another top-six forward.

“I just don’t see anybody taking on that contract. Not at this point,” said one league executive. “He’s a good player, but that’s a big commitment to make.

“You’re not going to be getting a No. 1 centre in return.

“It’s a tough spot for the organization to be in. You’ve got a player — a guy you consider important — and he makes this statement that he wouldn’t ‘object’ to being moved. It doesn’t look good on the player.”


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