Jason Spezza might be the best player on the NHL trade market entering the start of free agency, and at least two teams are interested in acquiring him.
Those teams would be the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. [tweet https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/483596793964277760 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/SunGarrioch/status/483633670054346752 align=”center”]
The Blues definitely need a No. 2 center to slot behind captain David Backes. Their lack of scoring from the center position was a weakness in Round 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks. St. Louis doesn’t have the skill or depth down the middle needed to beat top Western Conference teams such as the Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks in a seven-game series.
The Stars probably will soon move Valeri Nichushkin — the No. 10 pick in the 2013 draft — from the wing to center, but that isn’t likely to be in 2014-15. Therefore, Dallas needs a second-line center to complement Tyler Seguin. The Stars reportedly are interested in San Jose Sharks captain and No. 1 center Joe Thornton, too.
The problem for the Senators in their quest to move Spezza isn’t that he lacks value — any first-line center capable of tallying 65 to 80 points will be coveted — the issue is that his $7 million salary cap hit limits the list of potential suitors. Not many teams have the cap space needed to make a deal for Spezza, and it doesn’t help that the 31-year-old veteran has the power of a no-trade clause at his disposal.
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