NHL Canadian Corner – June 29, 2014

Latest on Jason Spezza’s rejecting a trade to Nashville, reaction of the players recently dealt to the Canucks, reaction to the Leafs shipping Carl Gunnarsson to St. Louis, and the latest on the Flames, Oilers, Canadiens and Jets. 

Some Senators fans aren't please over Jason Spezza rejecting a trade to Nashville.

Some Senators fans aren’t please over Jason Spezza rejecting a trade to Nashville.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren reports Jason Spezza’s rejecting a trade to Nashville is drawing comparisons to former Senator Dany Heatley turning down a trade to Edmonton in 2009. Spezza’s wish is to go to a Cup contender. It’s believed the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks have interest in him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve read several disparaging comments aimed at Spezza for simply exercising his right under his contract to refuse a trade. Those comments are ridiculous.  Under the terms of his contract, Spezza must submit a ten-team “no-trade” list. Nashville happens to be on the list. He doesn’t want to go there. The Predators knew this when they made their pitch. It’s his contractual right to reject a trade to a team he doesn’t want to join. 

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: New Canucks Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Derek Dorsett expressed their happiness about being dealt to Vancouver.

TORONTO SUN: Reaction to the Maple Leafs trading Carl Gunnarsson to the St. Louis Blues for Roman Polak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My reaction to the trade can be found here.

CALGARY HERALD: Reaction to the Flames acquisition of Brandon Bollig from the Chicago Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My take on the trade can be found here.

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers management claim to be satisfied with their selections in this year’s draft.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: A listing of the prospects selected by the Canadiens during day two of the NHL Draft.

WINNIPEG SUN: A look at some of the players selected by the Jets in the second round of the NHL Draft.


  1. Spec,
    I understand the desire for a no trade clause and the right to block moving to a team you don’t want to play for if management is seeking the trade. But, if you ask for a trade then all bets should be off, in my opinion. Is there a way to work in to future contracts a clause that either does away with or limits a player’s power to block trades if he’s the one who’s asking for it.

    • First off, Spezza as it turns out didn’t “request” a trade. He merely said that if the Senators wanted to move him he wouldn’t stand in their way, though he would have a list of clubs he wouldn’t accept being dealt to. Even if he did request a trade, again, as per his contract he either provides a list of team he’ll accept being dealt to or those he won’t. No “all bets are off”. It’s part of his contract and has to be honored by the team. If it’s written into the contract that way, sure. But it’s not in this case, or for that matter, in all cases. And I doubt you’ll find the NHLPA willing to accept that in the next round of labor talks.

      • well the nhl needs to step in and put an age limit on being able to put a NTC in a contract say 30! cause the teams that draft these players are losing value and its not fair to the teams! spezza did ask for a trade and I agree with sean put that in the contract that if the player does ask for a trade than they cant make a list of teams. Vancouver did ok with the kesler trade but everyone knows if they could have sent him anywhere they would have got a boatload for a guy that has 2 yrs left on his contract at a cap hit of 5 million!!

        • The NHL cannot “step in” and impose anything. It’s part of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHLPA. Oh, and that age limit you’re recommending? Wouldn’t affect the 31-year-old Spezza. As for Kesler, like Spezza it was part of his contract he negotiated in good faith with the Canucks. They knew he had a partial NTC in which he’d list up to six teams he’d accept being dealt to.

          • I mean 30 to sign a deal with a no trade clause and I also mean next collective agreement to import the rule

        • Are you kidding? Teams lose value because they overvalue free agents and give them ridiculous contracts in the first place. That’s not the players’ fault. If GM’s want to over-spend, then they should indeed suffer the consequences. Sleep in the bed you make.

          • so your telling me that canucks wouldn’t have a got a boatload more if they didn’t have to trade him to duck,or blackhawks?? give your head a shake

    • I don’t get this ‘All bets are off’ thing that so many fans are talking about. Why would such a thing ever be ratified? Teams use NTCs as an added incentive for players, players like them because they can control their future to a degree. When a player with such a clause indicates he is open to being traded, or blatantly demands a trade, the team does not have to do so. The player isn’t forcing the teams hand. Saying they are open to a trade, or even asking for a trade is something that is well within their rights to do.

  2. My irritation with it isn’t that he invoked his no trade clause, is that he said he wants to go to a contender yet Nashville is on his no-trade list. Let me start by saying I am aware that Predators are not yet a contender, but I mean look at this team. They have Vezina quality goaltending, the best defenseman in the NHL surrounding by a young core of Jones, Ellis, Josi, and Ekholm. They have big strong physical wingers and great prospects like Sissons, Jarnkrok, Forsberg, Beck, and Aberg at forward.

    What this team was missing was a high talent offensive player and depth at center. Hi Jason, you fit both of those bills and IMO also would have given Nashville a solid shot at landing Ales Hemsky via free agency at that point (or maybe even still trading for James Neal, if say Wilson, one of the forward prospects, and the 11th overall was the deal for Spezza).

    This team which has shown nothing but improvement and is only two years removed from being a constant playoff threat would have climbed right back in the saddle. I honestly think had Spezza gone there the Predators would have still traded for Neal (as they aren’t as budget as you are lead to believe, if they are competing they are allowed to spend close to cap) or would have gone out and picked up Hemsky.

    Fine to say, HEY I don’t want to go to that team but don’t hide behind “not a contender” when you can only list 10 teams. I’d take the Predators over Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Arizona, Edmonton, Buffalo, Florida, Islanders Hurricanes, Devils, Capitals, and Leafs.

  3. @Sean it bothers me too when players with a no trade clause use that as leverage to facilitate a move to their preferred destination (usually at a detriment to their current team). it seems to me that they’re violating the spirit of the contract by asking for a trade, a no trade clause should work both ways and when EITHER party violates that they shouldn’t profit from it. a player who asks for a trade or publicly expresses that he wants out puts the team at a disadvantage to further increase the disadvantage by limiting the possible destinations is wrong. i understand the player wanting to control the destinations but they shouldn’t be able to effectively limit the return for their services by stating publicly they’ll only go to certain places. perhaps a solution might be issuing a gag order to prevent the player (and his agent) from disclosing their preferred destination so the team can get the maximum value for the asset. if a satisfactory deal cannot be worked out then the player should bite his tongue and go back to work as he signed the contract voluntarily.

    • You just don’t get it. I also am not a fan of Spezza, but he has done nothing wrong here. These were the terms that both parties (team and player) agreed to when the contract was signed. If the team did not want to follow these conditions, they should not have been included in the deal. Spezza has tried anything that was not agreed to in the beginning.
      The only thing that has happened here is that the GM did not get the deal he wanted and went to shoot off his mouth in the media to try and shame Spezza into allowing a deal that goes against the agreement the two made.