Jason Spezza is out there in the trade rumor mills again. That got me to thinking about if the Predators should go after him and if so, what should they be willing to give up to get him? Does a feasible trade offer even exist?
First, some Spezza Facts:
1) Turns 31 years old next month.
2) He has a current No trade clause. He has apparently indicated a willingness to waive it, so let's assume that willingness extends to the Predators.
3) Becomes a UFA after next season at the good old age of 32.
4) This season stats: 75 GP, 23 goals, 43 assists, 66 points , -26, and 10.31% shooting.
3 times he missed games this year with "lower body" injuries which accounts for the 7 missed games. One of those was reported as a strained groin.
5) Career Stats: 686 games. 251 goals, 436 assists, 687 points, +54, and 13.94 % shooting. So, a career point per game player.
6) 11 total seasons in NHL. Rookie campaign was up and down with AHL/NHL and was 33 games. Last year he played 5 games at beginning of regular season and came back for 3 playoff games.
7) Excluding rookie campaign, averages 65.3 games per year. If you look at his list of injuries, he gets dinged up regularly and has missed 10+ games in one stretch 4 times. 3 other times he's missed between 5 and 10 games in a single stretch.
8) Career Playoff Stats: 56 games, 17 goals, 35 assists, 52 points, -2, and 12.41% shooting. Pretty similar numbers to career stats except for the questionable +/- rating.
9) Captain of his team.
I see the following as the important positives and negatives from the above:
1) He's obviously produced better than our forwards when he's been healthy enough to play as indicated by his Point Per Game career pace.
2) He's a leader. I assume this since he's Captain of his team. I don't know a lot about him that isn't in the above.
1) He is about to be 31 years old. Someone could argue his decline has already started, but if it hasn't it is likely to start in the next 2 or 3 years. However, his decline may still be better than what we currently have.
2) He's a UFA after next season. Hopefully we'd be able to get him signed to a reasonable contract extension if we got him, but I have to think he'd be wanting too much.
3) He's dinged up often and missed a lot of time due to a back injury last season. Back injuries concern me in any sport..see Larry Bird.
Speeza would instantly make the Predators better and so they should go get him, but Ottawa will want too much for someone with his negatives. Considering his negatives, the Predators should not offer anything too great. I've been saying Josi is our best trade option (not best asset, just best option) for acquiring a top forward and I would not use him to get Spezza.
I don't see an offer the Predators should make that I believe the Senators would accept, but the below is the maximum I'd give up without an extension being in place.
1) 2014 2nd round draft pick
2) 2015 3rd round draft pick
3) Colin Wilson
What is everyone's thoughts on the Predators pursuing Speeza?