The latest on Jason Spezza, Josh Gorges, Michael Del Zotto, Cam Ward, Martin Brodeur and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray claims he had a deal in place to ship Jason Spezza to the Nashville Predators, but Spezza invoked his “no-move” clause to reject it. The Predators are on Spezza’s “no-trade” list. The deal was supposedly in place before the Predators acquired James Neal, but Murray said their acquisition of Neal now kills the potential Spezza deal. Predators GM David Poile said if Spezza didn’t want to join his club he wasn’t going to pursue the center. Murray’s still hopeful of working out a trade but it appears he’ll have to wait until after the July 1 free-agent frenzy to get it done.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Spezza doesn’t want to go to Nashville there’s little that can be done about it, unless it turns out they’re among the few teams still interested if the Senators haven’t been able to move him to a club of his preference by mid-July. Murray could ask Spezza to widen his no-trade list, but when you consider he’s still open to going to more than half the league, he could be unwilling to expand it.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun also reported on Spezza’s rejection of a trade to Nashville… He also reports the Montreal Canadiens are shopping Josh Gorges and the Toronto Maple Leafs had expressed interest. The Leafs apparently are on Gorges 15-team “no-trade” list… The Dallas Stars reportedly had interest in Spezza and Sharks center Joe Thornton…The Avalanche continue contract talks with Paul Stastny.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Surprised that Gorges is now in play. It’ll be interesting to determine what led to this situation. It’s not as though the Habs have to shed salary, as they have more than enough room to re-sign P.K. Subban and Lars Eller, as well as re-sign or replace players like Mike Weaver and Brian Gionta…The Stars could be a destination for Spezza, depending upon what the Senators could be seeking now that they can’t land a first-round pick in this year’s draft.
CBS SPORTS: Chris Peters cites reports claiming the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins have interest in Martin Brodeur, who is definitely hitting the UFA market on July 1.
NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cites reports claiming the Nashville Predators are shopping defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who they acquired in a midseason deal from the New York Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Del Zotto’s stock really tumbled this season as he struggled with both clubs. Still, he’s only 25, and could attract interest from teams in need of blueline depth willing to take a chance on improving his game.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis said his plan is to go into next season with Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin as his goalie tandem. Justin Peters is headed to unrestricted free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis could try to move Ward, but his injury history and $6.3 million cap hit (with a full no-trade clause) probably means there’s no market for the veteran starter.