The Dallas Stars shocked the Twitterverse when they announced that star centre Jason Spezza would be a healthy scratch. They made sure to stymie any potential trade rumour explosions by adding that it was the coach's decision, and not a preventative measure to avoid injury as a deal is being prepared.
Some describe his play as of late as "lazy", but if you ask Toronto reporter Jeff Veillette, it's a masked way of conserving energy and movement to maximize offensive potential, and he could be a great fit for the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially as Tyler Bozak leaves the team, whether it be at the trade deadline, or at free agency this summer.
Toronto fans know Spezza well, he was one of a few stars on the Ottawa Senators for many years. He's obviously past his prime, but he's far from useless.
Spezza isn't expected to be out of the lineup for too long, but this still signals a low in his career, and his trade value couldn't be any lower than it is now.
Veillette makes excellent points on how Spezza could be a valuable piece for the Leafs' puzzle. The price to acquire him is unclear, and they would certainly have to eat up some of his salary, as he currently commands $7.5 million this year and through 2018-19.
With Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak, among others certainly gone following the conclusion of this season, there would easily be room for him if Dallas retains salary.
With 878 points in 955 career regular season NHL games, Spezza is nearly a career point per game player (0.91 to be more precise). That is quite the feat considering that's over nearly 1,000 games.
His 16 points in 44 games puts him on a 0.36PPG pace, which is easily the lowest of his career. A jump start in Toronto could refresh his career a bit. At 34, he still has time to put together some good hockey. Toronto would only be on the hook for one year beyond this one, and as Veillette explains, he could fill Bozak's spot until Toronto grooms William Nylander into the centre they plan on making him down the road.
If he can bring some of this magic back against the Montreal Canadiens, we'd be more than happy.
Yay or nay?