Haven't written about the Leafs in a long time as it was the playoffs... so here ya go...
As everyone knows the Toronto Maple Leafs need a number one playmaking centre to set up Phil Kessel. Earlier this year the Leafs had thought about getting Marc Savard from Boston, but after another serious concussion, the soon to be 34 year old might be done from hockey. The big fish this year in the UFA market will be Brad Richards and there will be many teams trying to lock him up. The Leafs will be one of those teams, but they should also see if they can pluck Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators.
I wouldn't be shocked if Brad Richards gets over $8M a season and the big question is, would he even want to come to Toronto? After spending his hockey career in southern US markets does he really want to come up to a hockey hotbed like Toronto? I know he says he wants to play in Toronto, but we'll have to wait until July 1 to see if that's all talk. It will be very interesting to see what teams go after him and how hard Brian Burke pursues him. Regardless, it wouldn't hurt the Leafs to see what it would cost them to get Jason Spezza in Blue and White.
Spezza who is turning 28 this summer is still in the prime of his career and when he is playing with top line talent he is more than a point-a-game player. There has been some talk of late that the Senators have tried to move him before, but couldn't find someone to take on his contract. Spezza still has 4 more years at $7M a season left on his 7 years $49M contract. Spezza has been struggling with injuries the last few seasons and hasn't been able to put up huge numbers like he did when he had a sniper like Dany Heatley on his wing.
Spezza teamed up with Kessel and a two-way winger like Kulemin would give the Leafs a solid number one line. And with MacAthur, Grabovski and Lupul on the 2nd line, they would have a nice balanced attack. Spezza isn't just a play-maker, he has also scored more than 30 goals in a season 3 times. His best career point total was 92 points in 76 games during the 2007-08. Spezza is a number one centre on most NHL teams and it seems he needs a change of scenery to get his career back on track.
It's pretty well known that Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray wanted to draft Nazim Kadri and with the Sens rebuilding, maybe they want to add some younger pieces and shed some salary. Jason Spezza is a Toronto boy and dreamed of wearing a Leafs jersey growing up, he could be the missing piece to help the Leafs make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout.
What do you think? Should the Leafs go after Jason Spezza, or is the whole rumour Jason Spezza-laughable?