Horton factor...Spezza's worth

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 ·

Immediately after news of the Nathan Horton trade hit Sens fans began to wonder what Jason Spezza could fetch? Along with 4th liner Gregory Campbell, Horton landed the Panthers a top 4 D Dennis Wideman, the 15th overall pick and 3rd rounder next year.

Horton - W/C - 6'2, 229 lbs, 3rd overall in 2003 draft
-422 GP, 142 G, 153 A, 295 PTS, +27, 382 PIMS
-0 playoff games
-Asked new GM Dale Tallon for a trade. No trade clause kicks in July 1st.
-3 years left on current deal with a annual cap hit of 4 million dollars.

Spezza - C - 6'3, 215 lbs, 2nd overall in 2001 draft
-464 GP, 171 G, 304 A, 475 PTS, +73, 322 PIMS
-46 points in 46 career playoff games
-Suggested to GM Bryan Murray that he wouldn't "object" to a trade. NT kicks in July 1st.
-5 years left on current deal with annual cap hit of 7 million dollars.

Comparing their careers to date even the most ardent "Spezza hater" would have to admit he is the superior player, but in today's NHL that's not all that matters. Being just 2 years apart the age comparison is essentially a wash. So, the question is, would Spezza fetch more or less than Horton? If the contracts were similar you would have to say absolutely, but the extra 2 years and 23 million dollars in cap space changes the dynamics dramatically. That's not say Bryan Murray couldn't make still make a deal that makes sense, but he has his work cut out for him. By including RFA Campbell and taking back Wideman, Dale Tallon was actually able to save close to 1 million per season in cap space.

The Sens can't afford to be cornered into making a deal like last summer. If you are looking at the Horton trade to help set the market(essentially bringing 2 high end assets in 1 very good player and a top pick) then Bryan Murray can't trade Spezza unless he is able to land 3 high end assets with at least 1 of which being a very good player right now. This will be more difficult to do because of the difference in contracts between Spezza and Horton, but the Sens can't afford to move arguably their best asset just because he said he wouldn't object to it.

The other factor to consider here is can both sides get the genie back in the bottle if Spezza stays? One has to wonder what will happen in the stands, in the papers, on the radio and online the first time the club and Spezza hit a slump next season. It might not be pretty and Murray was to be wondering now if "not objecting" to a trade could be amped up to quote Denis Lemieux "trade me right ****ing now"! Now hang up.


Anonymous said...
June 24, 2010 at 12:13 AM  

Spezza played on a guns-wide-p[en style team and that's how he has so many points. Even in the playoffs the team kept piling them on.

I'd bet if you looked at those points more closely (and Spezza lovers hate doing this) you'd see a smattering of multi-point games in losses (Hello, Pittsburgh Penguins!) and then long stretches of inactivity. This is basically the Spezza motif: accumulate enough points that management thinks twice, then revert to the Invisible Man in the clutch.

Those 46 points in 46 playoff games exemplify my point. In the sweep against the Pens he had what, one point? He didn't get a point in game 1 against the Pens and was directly responsible for at least three goals against, and two in the playoff sweep three yeas ago.

So yeah, Horton please. Can play both ends, doesn't whine to mama if he gets booed and has a good salary and some upside.

Spezza's tired act is tired.

And Steve...it won't be during a slump that he'll be booed.

Game 1 of the regular season he has to produce. If he doesn't, he will be viciously attacked in the post-game show.

It will NEVER stop until he wins a Selke or the Cup OR he starts speaking without laughing and shows an intense, two-way game day in and day out.

Sadly, we are stuck with this underachiever...and he IS an underachiever because he could be so much more than he is now, but the head isn't in the game.


Pierre said...
June 24, 2010 at 9:52 AM  

Hello Steve enjoy your show.

Make no mistake, if Spezza makes a single mistake in the opener against Buffalo he will face a firing squad of irate callers on Scott and Mike's post-game. He has worn out his welcome here and nothing will change until he plays with some intensity:

i)Lose the lazy poke-check and use your body to get people off the puck.
ii)If you can't make a play, dumping it in the corner is valid! Even Gretzky and Yzerman did this.
iii)Play with intensity inside your own zone.

Just as a comparison...if you were the Red Wings against the Blues, double OT 0-0...do you put Spezza on the ice at all? I wouldn't, too high risk for that type of game.

Also Steve...mark my words that Erik Karlsson is the next whipping boy. He's VERY cocky, takes a TON of risks and isn't too steady in his own zone.

Remember, you heard it here first:

If Spezza moves, venom and acid will be spat at Karlsson until he developes a risk-averse two-way defensive game.

That's how it is in Ottaa...like Roy MacGregor said...In Bureaucratic Ottawa, creativity is a no-no.

Anonymous said...
June 24, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

Spezza the problem? Not really, but an easy target for the automaton blind-followers of the Sens.

Your real issue and outcry should be with the GM. Check his activity and acqusitions since assuming the role from Muckler.

Winchester? Shannon? Campoli? Kuba? Leclaire? Yeah, these are real powerhouse acquisitions. Other teams are clamouring to get these guys.....oh that's right...no they're not.

I won't even go into the returns we got for Heatly. They speak for themselves.

The last 3 coaches were brought in not because they were the best choice, but because they could be easily controlled and not challenge the GM. A great choice for self preservation if your Brian Murray

Then there's Tim Murray, the GM's nephew. No...not nepotism at all.

Yeah...Spezza is the problem...if your're blind.

Anonymous said...
June 24, 2010 at 1:50 PM  

nice spelling!!!

Anonymous said...
June 25, 2010 at 4:39 PM  

Hey Steve,

Any idea why Alfredsson's been quiet on this Spezza thing? Odd...he was quiet on the Heatley thing too until Scanlan got to him.

You'd think the team's leader would have the pulse of his teammate's feelings no?

Really curious.


Anonymous said...
June 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

Anon @ 10:50 AM

Attack the post's substance.
You forgot the capitalize the first word of a sentence, another no-no.

The poster previous to you had a great point...Bryan Murray should be the one under the magnifying glass, not Spezza.

Hopefully at some point the media will start questioning him, look at the disrepair in which this team has fallen since he has taken the helm.

I miss Johnston, Muckler...classy guys...Mlakar was great.

Any chance for Etem tonight?

About this blog

Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.