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Spezza


So the Senators are in that Chris Pronger-like situation the Oilers were in, of having to trade one of their best assets with the rest of the world knowing he's requested a trade, lowering his value. Spezza has a limited no-trade-clause, and has submitted his list of 10 teams that he refuses to accept a trade to. Safe to assume the Oilers are on that list? Probably.

But if you pretend the Oilers were not on the list, would you make a trade for Spezza and what would you consider to be the right price. He's a $7 million cap hit for one year, then is a UFA. That should lower his value further.

He didn't have a great season this year; my guess is the Alfredsson mess-up is a big reason for his performance and his discontent. He missed most of last year with an injury, but it appeared in 2011-12 he was coming back as an elite scorer. Also, to be fair, even with a sub-par season in 2013-14 he would have been 2nd on the Oilers in scoring.

The optimist in me sees a skilled veteran player who has played well with offensive players in the past. He was the #1 centre on a Cup finals team... although, that was eight years ago. At 6'3, 215 lbs he'd be the biggest top-6 forward the Oilers have had since... Penner? He's not a physical big-man, but reach and leverage are advantages at times. When he played with Heatley and Alfie, they were perhaps the best line in hockey. Is it possible that Hall could be his new Heatley, and Eberle his new Alfie? I think he'd also take some pressure off RNH and perhaps be a mentor for him. He'd be in a contract year, and in theory highly motivated to succeed.

The pessimist in me says he's slow and the West is a faster conference. That injury last year may have expedited the decline of his career. He's not very physical, so if you believe the Oilers need more grit on the top lines he's not your answer. He'd probably be gone after one year. Defensively he's not spectacular, which of course is the Oilers biggest problem.

Spezza will never be an Oiler, but it's June and I'm bored so hey why not think about it for a minute. Interested to see what others think.

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