Why half of Ottawa hated Jason Spezza I will never know. Yes he was a bad defensive player early in his career. So are most young players, big deal.
I know what you're thinking.. 'why are you posting this on a Philadelphia Flyers fan page?' Well I have a somewhat ridiculous idea of Jason Spezza heading to the Flyers to propose. I know what you're thinking this time as well.. 'LOLWHUT?' That sentiment is well placed. The move doesn't make a whole load of sense at face value, but this could be a way Hextall and his new regime could get out from under the weight of some hefty contracts, while getting value back.
Darren Dreger of TSN states the asking price will be, "a player that helps them now plus some futures". The Ottawa Senators will be loathe to trade Spezza to an Eastern rival (he'll more likely get moved far away to the West where fans can forget him), but if they were to move him within the Conference.. why not Philly? It may come down to Ottawa moving him somewhere they'd rather not because Spezza basically has the gun to Murray's head at this point. He will be traded.
Spezza is one of 3 players 30 and over (he'll be 31 tomorrow! June 13th) to play a significant role with the Senators (Chris Phillips and Chris Neil being the others) so he doesn't really fit into their plan. Which I think everyone can assume is to build around young-stud defenseman Erik Karlsson. Jason's 66 points were second only to Karlsson's 74 this year for the Sens. He contributed 22 points on the Powerplay and shot at just 10% which is almost 4 percentage points lower than his career 13.94 shooting percentage. If you do the math he should have had 32 goals scoring at that rate on his 223 shots last year. So he had some bad luck, and probably some less than amazing line-mates. 9 more goals would give Spezza 75 points in 75 games this past season.. that looks pretty damn good.
The problem here is Spezza's significant cap-hit at $7 million. He's actually only being paid $4 million in this last year of his contract. So when he gets traded this could still end up being a rental scenario, which may drive the price down. Unless of course signing a new contract is part of the negotiation process. Thus in getting Spezza the Flyers would need to give up considerable contracts to get under the salary cap.
Who would you be willing to give up?
Two names immediately come to mind; Vincent Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn. Lecavalier will most certainly be moved this off-season if Hextall wants to endear himself to anyone in the Philadelphia fan-base at all, but would the Sens want him? It's hard to see it making sense, especially with his $4.5 million price tag and his recent demotion to a bottom-6 role. Schenn on the other hand (maybe both Schenns!) could be very desirable to Ottawa. You have to think Brayden gets somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3.75 or $4 million, packaged with Luke Schenn who makes $3.6 million and you've basically covered the cost of bringing on Spezza. Nice and tidy. Or is it?