Two different writers, two different perspectives on what Bryan Murray will talk about with Jason Spezza.
Take resident shit-disturber Booboo Garrioch: His article today discusses Spezza's unhappiness with being booed and the speculation that he requested a trade. Of course, nobody else in hockey has mentioned this mysterious trade request. Furthermore, Garrioch penned a random piece last week that said there is simply no trade market for Spezza, even though Murray has shown no indication of shopping him. There is no trade market for Alfie or Phillips, either, if you are using the logic of availability.
Then the slightly more sensible Stevenson throws down an article today about how the conversation that Murray wants to have has nothing to do with trading him, but rather about including him in the veteran panel on how to shape the team next year. Murray says that Spezza is now in that group that takes on leadership responsibilities and Murray wants to talk with him about what they need, who is leaving, and how the team will look in the Fall. Quite a different angle than his colleague at the Sun, no?
I don't mind journalists uncovering player unhappiness and printing it. In fact, it is usually Murray that tells them about the player's emotions - Corvo requesting a trade, Schaeffer requesting a trade, etc. But to randomly print that Kovalev is untradeable, Spezza is untradeable, that is just amateur hour stuff that is best suited for half-witted blogs. It still shocks me that some of those guys get paid to travel with the team to write smut like that.
As for Spezza, of course he isn't going to be traded. I'll admit, when I read the comments from Murray in Garrioch's rendition (I know, I should have known better), it sounded like the possibility was opened that he'd be available at the draft. Now after seeing the entire set of comments, it is clear that we still have our #1 centre locked and loaded and probably a bit pissed off. Would anybody be upset if Spezza came back with a chip on his shoulder in the Fall? Not a Yashin chip, but just a bit of surliness to get back to the 90 point mark?
It is clear that this team is in a holding pattern for one more year, too. We just have so many big contracts on this team right now that our hands will be tied when it comes to UFA day. We'll hopefully have a competitive year in the Fall with Pascal playing well and Karlsson and Regin continuing to improve. After next season, we lose the Kovalev, Cheechoo, and Pascal contracts and can really start to shape this thing out properly. In the meantime, Murray will need to get Cullen back in the fold and somebody, anybody, to pair up with Phillips on the blue line.
And Garrioch - I'm not asking you to be a superfan and just blow smoke up their ass, but don't get lazy out there. You get these awards for breaking the Hasek signing and covering the Heatley saga, but don't just sit back and think you're work is done. Go find a real Sens story this summer.
Email Hot Stove: David Legwand
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