Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray confirmed Wednesday that Jason Spezza, his captain and No. 1 center, has asked for a trade, and multiple teams have expressed interest in acquiring him.
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Spezza is an elite offense player who consistently tallies 65-plus points per season when healthy. He posted 66 points (23 goals, 43 assists) in 75 games this past season and hasn’t totaled fewer than 57 points in a single season since 2003-04.
Why does Spezza want out of Ottawa? The 30-year-old forward has never won a Stanley Cup, and unless several major changes are made to the Senators roster over the next few months, they will have no chance to win a championship next season. Spezza has tallied 52 points in 55 career playoff games, but he’s scored just four goals in his last 20 postseason contests.
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Acquiring Spezza won’t be cheap. Ottawa likely will ask for a similar package it gave up to get star winger Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks last summer, which was a first-round pick, a young NHL player and a prospect. Spezza also has a $7 million salary cap hit in his contract that expires after the 2014-15 season, per CapGeek. Any team interested in Spezza would only have him for one year unless he’s signed to an extension.
Three teams in dire need of a No. 2 center are the Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.