LOS ANGELES — Bryan Murray has reached out to calm the waters with Jason Spezza.
Spezza told Murray in a post-season meeting he wouldn’t “object” to a trade after being booed by Ottawa fans in the playoffs, but the Senators GM is trying to get back on the same page with his star centre, who will almost certainly return to play in Ottawa next season.
“There’s nothing going on with Jason. There are so many people concerned about my job that I couldn’t dare make a trade if I wanted to make one,” Murray said Thursday .
“There’s nothing going on with him right now and there’s very little in any conversations with any teams at any rate. This has gotten bigger than it should have and it’s a nonexistent thing at this point.”
Murray, who had planned to meet with Spezza in Ottawa, said they spoke by phone instead.
“I talked to him. He’s in Toronto and he’s just had an addition to his family (a baby girl). He wasn’t coming to Ottawa and I didn’t ask him to (make the trip),” said Murray.
“I think we both feel a little concerned about all the commentary that has gone on about a couple of comments that were made on both of our parts and the insinuation that there was a need to do something. I think we’ve talked it out pretty well.”
There is a belief the Edmonton Oilers have shown an interest in Spezza, but they haven’t got much to offer in return.
Murray isn’t being proactive. Making the possibility of a trade even more difficult is the $4-million US bonus due to Spezza on July 1.
“I’m not trying to trade him,” said Murray, who has talked to Spezza’s agent Rick Curran as well. “I thought maybe a team or two would call. I’ve had a couple of teams call me and that’s it.”
Murray scoffed at the notion Spezza’s value may have risen when free-agent-to-be Patrick Marleau decided to remain with the San Jose Sharks.
“He’s a valuable commodity for the Ottawa Senators,” said Murray. “As I say, there was some conversation at the end of the year and some insinuation in an interview Jason did that he wasn’t as happy as he could be or should be.
“That goes with the territory. It’s hockey players. When you don’t win, sometimes you get your feathers ruffled a little bit. There’s a period of time when you’re a little upset.”
Murray said Spezza should get ready for camp in Ottawa in September.
“He’s a member of our hockey team at this point,” said Murray. “Unless somebody comes into camp and beats him out. I can’t imagine that will happen, so we’ll be okay with him.”