PHILADELPHIA - Bryan Murray put on his best poker face Thursday night to try to up the ante for Jason Spezza.
With the NHL entry draft set for Friday at 7 p.m. EST, the Senators GM told reporters the offers for the club's top centre aren't good enough and have to improve if there's to be a trade this weekend.
Murray went so far as to say Spezza could even return next season if the club doesn't get what it wants with a top six forward, top prospect and a No. 1 pick in the draft at the Wells Fargo Center.
Murray said he told Spezza's agent Rick Curran that they have to be prepared for the fact there may not be a deal this weekend.
"I told this to the agent and the player, 'It may happen, there may be conversations that bring us close to it, but it certainly doesn't have to be the cutoff point by any stretch,'" said Murray.
"It could go all summer and it could go into the year. If I don't get the right deal, he has a year left on his contract and that could be the case, yes."
Of course, this can all change."
Now, Murray could be trying to drive up the market a little bit because the offers have been less than desireable. Spezza might want out but that doesn't mean they will give him away, either.
Murray wasn't willing to put any odds on whether he'll get a deal done in the next few hours leading up to the draft.