Report: Senators gauging the market for captain Jason Spezza

Thomas Drance

Click here to access our NHL Trade Tracker, which includes every rumor, trade and signing.

The Ottawa Senators are "quietly exploring interest" in captain Jason Spezza according to reports from Darren Dreger and The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta.

From TheFourthPeriod:

With the trade deadline around the corner, the Senators may not be able to manifest a trade involving Spezza, upon which trade discussions would carry out into the off-season, where a deal could be consummated around the NHL Draft in late-June.

Spezza owns a full no-trade clause and has two years, including the balance of this season, and $11 million in salary (with an average cap-hit of $7 million per season) left on his current contract.

While Spezza leads the Senators in scoring this season, he's been supplanted as Ottawa's most used centerman by Kyle Turris - who has emerged as a bonafide top-line player this season. In addition to Turris, the further development and surprising effectiveness of young players like Mika Zibanejad and Zack Smith has given the Senators a surplus of talent down the middle. 

In 56 games, Spezza ranks 40th in the NHL with 46 points, his lowest points-per-game rate since 2003-04.