I'll come right out and say it: no-trade clauses should be made invalid if a player demands a trade. What right should a player have if he demands a trade out of town, but can only be traded to a handful of teams? That's garbage. It's an entirely different ballgame if the team comes to a player and tells him he's going to be traded. He should have that right if he has the no-trade clause in his contract. But the moment a player says, "hey, I'm done. Trade me"? All 29 other teams should come into play without any interference from the player.
"David talked to me and we couldn't go there," Ottawa GM Bryan Murray told reporters. "I told Rick Curran that today, I had a deal sitting there if I wanted to do it, but he was on the list of no-go's.
"I'm sure it's disappointing for him, it's disappointing for me because I'd like to accommodate him if I could, but he does have a year left on his contract. If that's the case we'll have a pretty good player for next year."
In the end, that's all Murray should worry about: how is Spezza going to play for the Senators next season. If someone calls Murray, then he should listen, but the onus is on Spezza to raise his stock if he wants to go to one of twenty teams still in the running for his services. The best way for him to do that if he isn't moved before October? Play his tail off for the Ottawa Senators.
"It just seemed to me there were a lot of phone calls, a lot of talking, people interested, but nothing really happened," Murray said. And that's the catch with going public with this trade demand. No one is willing to offer up a first-round pick, a roster player, and a decent prospect to a team where its star player wants out. Teams that need a solid first-line centerman can roll the dice on July 1's free agency kickoff in the hopes of getting someone cheaper rather than mortgaging the immediate future. Unless a team is desperate in getting a top-line player, teams are more than happy to low-ball Murray and the Senators because they know they can.
Spezza's a great player and would be a welcome addition to any team, but he still has one year left on his contract with the Ottawa Senators. He might yet get moved, but it may not happen until March 2015 at the trade deadline thanks to his public demands.
The only person to blame for that problem is Jason Spezza.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!