The end of the regular season also means that several general managers will face hard questions. It also means some players will face even tougher realities.
Dallas Stars veteran forward Jason Spezza believes he’s still has gas in the tank; it just remains to be seen if the team feels the same way about it.
According to Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika, the future of Spezza will be among the priorities for Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill this offseason. The veteran will turn 35 in June and has a year remaining on his contract ($7.5- million annual average value). He is however coming off the worst season of his career, which will put Nill in a tough spot, and possibly Spezza in an even tougher one.
Heika believes Nill faces three choices with Spezza: “bring him back at that salary, buy him out at two-thirds of that salary ($5 million) spread out over two years ($2.5 million per), or try to trade him even if they must eat as much as half of his salary.” On Monday, Nill claimed he intends to sit down with Spezza to evaluate his future with the club.
"I want to sit down with Jason and see where he is at. I need to talk to the coaching staff and see where they are at with him," Nill said Monday.First rounder to have his contract bought out!
Spezza’s numbers have gone downhill since he was acquired by Dallas back in 2014. While the Stars might decide to buy out his contract, Spezza believes he can still be a good offensive contributor on an NHL team.
"I feel good physically. I feel like I've got a lot of good years left in me, so I'm optimistic about the future," Spezza said. "I feel I have a lot to contribute to a team. I feel I can still have a big role on a team, and it's going to be my job to prove that."
"Until somebody tells me different, I'm talking about how we can move things forward here next year," Spezza added. "I understand the speculation from people, but I'm approaching it as, 'Let's figure out how to solve what's going on here.'"
According to the information given by Cap Friendly, Spezza carries a modified no-trade clause with a 10-team no-trade list. If Nill tries to trade him, he probably won’t get what he’d hope for. He might be stuck with another toxic contract in return or have to pick up a significant piece of Spezza’s cap hit.
While Nill might attempt to find a trade partner in June, he could decide to buy Spezza out instead by June 30.