Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 05/13/14 at 01:12 AM ET
George here on the late shift, and I feel the need to identify myself because I'm going to get a little "snippy" here:
If Dion Phaneuf played a little less like Mr. Heavyfoot on the Maple Leafs' blueline, Jason Spezza and "potential" intersected a little more regularly, their teams wouldn't have conveniently floated the, "These guys are available" lines when just enough teams have been or are about to be eliminated from playoff contention to drum up some significant interest (I'm starting to believe that Thomas Vanek is more modern-day Ray Sheppard--i.e. a "finisher" who doesn't have great individual skills--than a free agent prize, but that's another story).
The fact that Phaneuf's 29 and was just signed to that massive 7-year, $49 million contract extension (per Capgeek), and that Spezza's entering the final year of a contract with a $7 million cap hit (though his salary's only $4 million in real-world dollars next year) at 30 also play into the equation, as do suggestions that, at their respective ages, the players may be in fact at the age where "diminishing returns" fare into overpaying to acquire their services (and if we are to believe what we read, both teams plan on moving said players to Western Conference teams).
Accoring to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, Spezza's drumming up significant interest. Garrioch believes that Spezza will probably be moved at or around the draft in Philadelphia (on June 27th and 28th), and he reports that several Eastern Conference teams and one with-division team are interested in Spezza:
Headed into the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $7 million ($4 million in real salary), it's believed as many as four teams have held talks with Senators GM Bryan Murray to express interest.
It's believed the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers can be added to the list of possible suitors that already includes the Anaheim Ducks and the St. Louis Blues, considered the frontrunner.
"That number is only going to grow," a league executive told the Sun Monday. "There will be lots of interest in a guy like Spezza. He's a good player.
"They're going to have to be very careful doing this deal because if they move him it's unlikely they are going to get a better player back."
Though Spezza, 30, has indicated to Murray he wouldn't stand in the way of a move, he has given the club a list of 10 places he can't go -- something that's required under his 'no trade' clause.
If he's feeling heat playing in Ottawa, then you'd have to think it's doubtful he'd want to go to Toronto. Here's a look at what the teams interested might be willing to offer Murray.
With Garrioch being Garrioch, he plays out some "wish list" scenarios with the Ducks (for Emerson Etem + ?), the New York Rangers (Derek Brassard? Really?) or Florida Panthers, but who knows...
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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