The Nashville Predators made one significant move Friday to reshape their franchise. According to a report out of Ottawa, they were on the verge of making another.
Senators beat writer Bruce Garrioch says the Sens had a deal worked out with Nashville that would have sent veteran center Jason Spezza to the Predators, presumably for a package that would have included the 11th overall pick.
Spezza, however, used his no-trade clause to veto the deal.
No surprise there. It was believed that Nashville was on Spezza's submitted list of teams to which he would not have accepted a trade.
Nashville GM David Poile, who added sniper James Neal in a deal with the Penguins Friday evening, had said that he was looking to acquire a center this weekend. It's not over yet, but it's expected that his focus now will shift to free agency where someone like Paul Stastny could be had without having to sacrifice assets.
The Senators' pursuit of a deal, even one that Spezza wouldn't accept, is telling. The market for the center, or at least the market willing to meet GM Bryan Murray's demands, isn't exactly percolating. The St. Louis Blues, another team seeking forward help, are said to have moved on from their interest in Spezza. It's possible they'll reconsider after free agency plays out but it's starting to look like both the Senators and Spezza may have to reevaluate their stances for a deal to happen.