Could Jason Spezza be on His Way Out of Ottawa?

It has been made public that Brian Burke has been shopping for a first line center for some time now.  After failing to sign Brad Richards and trade for Steven Stamkos this summer, the Leafs are still without the number one center they are looking for.  Could the answer to their problem be lying just 300 miles to the North?  Many rumors this morning say the Leafs are interested in Jason Spezza.

Jason Spezza has been target in Ottawa for a few years.  Many teams want this highly talented center but the Senators haven’t been able to work out any trade.  In his eight seasons with the Senators, Jason has only had three seasons where he played injury free.  The last few years, he’s been subject to poor defensive play and made numerous costly turnovers.  Jason even admitted he wouldn’t object to a trade that would give him a new home and a fresh start.  The Senators are going through a rebuild so they might give up the talented Spezza for some high potential prospects and or draft picks.

Jason Spezza seems like a perfect fit for the Toronto Maple Leafs.  But will Brian Burke be willing to pay the hefty price Ottawa will be demanding for their center man?  Along with Spezza’s talents includes a hefty salary hit of $7M per season for the next four seasons.  This also includes a no trade clause which means Spezza would have to accept any potential trade.  Burke is not afraid to deal draft picks and prospects as he did to acquire Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf.

But, Burke also has to think about the future.  Can he go one more year without a star center man as next years free agent cropped is loaded in talent included Alexander Semin, Zach Parise, Ryan Smyth, Shane Doan, and Dustin Penner.  He would be able to deal for those players at the deadline or sign them on July 1 with a much smaller price tag going the other way.

Yes, Jason Spezza would make the Leafs a contender and would star on a line with Joffery Lupul and Phil Kessel.  But in the end, I don’t see this working out.  The combination of the asking price being too high, a large hit on the salary cap, and an impressive free agent year coming up makes this deal not worth it for Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

More to Come..

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