Sens brass on Spezza, Volchenkov and draft

Monday, June 21, 2010 ·

It was an interesting morning down at Scotiabank Place. For the first time, G.M. Bryan Murray confirmed that Jason Spezza brought up being traded in their end of season meeting. Murray said Spezza didn't ask for a trade but wouldn't object to be being dealt. The team's number one centre made if clear that maybe it's time to look around judging on how he is being received.

This doesn't mean a trade will happen, but make no mistake, this isn't a rumour. It's a fact that the Sens are looking into trade possibilities involving Jason Spezza. When one player's cap hit is 7 million dollars it's tough to find fits. Florida could be one. The following is not a rumour but just a construction of how something like this could go down. Repeat, NOT A RUMOUR:

Like Spezza, Nathan Horton's no trade kicks in on July 1st. New G.M. Dale Tallon has said only Booth and Kulikov would be considered close to untouchables. He wants to make a splash and has said specifically he wants a big centre to take the load off Stephen Weiss. If the Sens are going to lose Volchenkov, wouldn't Keith Ballard be a nice replacement? Hard hitting, mobile and locked into a decent contract. Combined, Horton and Ballard have a cap hit of 8.2 million. The Sens could kick in a young player in that range to make it work. Since the Sens would be giving up the best player in the trade they might even be able to pry one of Florida's early 2nd round picks out Tallon's hands.

Speaking of trades, Murray did say he expects to make a couple whether it's Volchenkov's rights, Spezza or whomever to try and move some money around and improve the hockey club. Murray also reiterated that he expects unrestricted free agent defenseman Anton Volchenkov to go to market. No surprise here.

Tim Murray and Pierre Dorion also met the media today. T. Murray said they have identified 20 players that they like in the first round and with the 16th pick will just take what falls to them. T. Murray also talked about trying to move up but noted how tough that could be seeing the club doesn't have a second round pick. He also noted that there are two players the club is high on that would make them consider trading down. That of course depends on what happens with the first 15 picks.

T. Murray also said the club is not in a position to draft by position, so if a highly ranked defenseman falls to them at 16, they'll take him. It should be noted that U.S. under 18 team blueliner Derek Forbort was recently in for a visit. Bob Mckenzie has him going at 11. I had him at 12 in my mock draft.

Speaking of which, after having some fun and putting Johan Larsson as Ottawa's first pick in my draft, I asked Dorion about the Swedish prospect. Dorion would only say he has him ranked anywhere from a 1st to 3rd round pick. The more we talked it was easy to tell that he likes the kid. Due to his unexpected breakout offensive performance at the U-18's, Dorion agreed that Larsson is truly one of wildcards in this draft. I look it at it like this. Larsson will be there at 16, might be there in the 2nd round(where the Sens don't have a pick), and won't be there in the 3rd. ISS has him ranked 29th and McKenzie has him at 45.


dadexter said...
June 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

Any so-called Sens fan who is behind this Spezza-booing should run him/herself outta town.

This is getting ridiculous.

Anonymous said...
June 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM  

Sorry dadexter but I'll disagree.

The fans that pay their money to attend these games, buy the jerseys and so on will make their judgments heard in the rink.

Spezza just got his first taste of reality...that in professional sports when you're paid a lot of money you take the hit through fan dissatisfaction. If I were him, I'd take the Ottawa Citizen's advice:

Play a solid, two-way game, suck up the boos and play as determined a hockey game as you can.

All things considered, Spezza got it easy most of the year because Alexei Kovalev was the lightning rod of fan discontent. When you get paid 7 mil, fans will cheer and fans will do.

Expectations are high for Spezza. He can choose to meet them by playing at a high level game in, game out and throughout the playoffs or he can run to another city.

Fact is, everyone from Larry Bird to Donovan McNab to Kobe Bryant to Jordan to Larry Murphy to Jose Theodor to Alfredsson to David Beckham has been booed.

The elite athlete hears the boos, smirks and elevates his/her game and shuts up the critics.
The others? They get traded, get their single-game performances and fade into obscurity.

Choice is yours Jason...

Put up and we'll shut up.

Anonymous said...
June 21, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

How long does Bryan Murray get before we are allowed to criticize his highness for the circus that has erupted around this team?

Just curious, because drafting Karlsson doesn't mean much if this team keeps losing in the first round every year or not making the playoffs.

Must be nice to be born in Shawville, you never have to win...

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.