posted Jul 4, 2006 at 12:08AM
I am not going to update the chart until a few more names are finalized but one can now take the "P" away from the Spezza slot and replace with a C. Today it was announced that Muckler signed Spezza for two years at $4.5 million/year.
You will notice that the figure matched my "projected" estimate dead on. But not quite. When I projected $4.5 million, it was the first year of a five year deal.
For a one year deal I had an iteration which had pencilled him in for $3.75 million. Kind of low for what I think of Spezza, but the only way to make the cap stay under $40 million.
I don't know why the Senator's brass don't lock him up long term. They have had a few years to look at him and I don't know what more one can expect, short of him turning into a Lemieux. His career trajectory has nothing but upside. If it were not for injuries he would have finished fourth in the scoring race. An Art Ross Trophy is not a wild prediction to make, especially if he gets a full season with our best forwards.
Outside of Alfredson I would say he is our most valuable forward. Certainly he is the only forward who consistently has shown up to play and produce during playoffs. Even with a bad back he was the only forward that was consistently dangerous even in five on five play. Spezza is the reason that Ottawa had a real "top" line for the first time in its history. Spezza is the glue that makes that line work. Without Spezza Heatley becomes almost ordinary. No way Redden racks up all those asssists without Spezza there to make something of his passes.
His +/- ratings are always near the top and to suggest that some passes that get away is a reason to still have doubts is ridiculous. Anyone who carries the puck as much as Spezza does, is going to cough up the puck at times.
At least we have him for two years though.
No way our salary cap stays at $40 million.