NHL Notes: Did Spezza nix a trade at draft?

NHL Notes: Did Spezza nix a trade at draft?
June 28, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Jason Spezza, who reportedly nixed a trade to the Predators at the NHL draft, had 23 goals and 66 points last season for the Senators. (AP)

The Nashville Predators on Friday acquired James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the NHL draft at the Wells Fargo Center.

But it might not have been Neal who the Predators coveted most.

Nashville wanted Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza, who reportedly wants out of Ottawa and Canada all together.

According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun (via ProHockeyTalk), Sens general manager Bryan Murray said he had a trade worked out with Nashville but Spezza nixed the trade.

If Spezza doesn't want to play in Ottawa, or Nashville, or any of the other five Canadian teams, where does he want to play?

A gifted playmaker, Spezza reportedly wants out of Ottawa because he gets blamed too much. Isn't a team's best player supposed to shoulder the blame?

Guess not.

Leafs: Polak for Gunnarsson
On Day 2 of the NHL draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Roman Polak from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Carl Gunnarsson and the 49th overall pick.

Polak is a seven-year veteran, spending his entire career with St. Louis. He has two years remaining on his contract that carries a $2.75 million cap hit, according to CapGeek.com.

The 28-year-old is a steady defender, but had struggled in the Blues' Western Conference Finals loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. He was a minus-3 in the series.

Last year, Polak netted four goals and 13 points in 72 games as part of an excellent defensive unit in St. Louis.

For the Blues, they get Gunnarsson, who is coming off major hip surgery. He played nearly 20 minutes a night with the Maple Leafs last year and, if healthy, he'll fit in nicely with the Blues' defense that includes Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk and Barret Jackman.

Flames: Calgary adds toughness with Bollig
The Flames added some toughness to their roster via the trade route Saturday at the draft.

Calgary acquired Brandon Bollig from the Blackhawks for the 88th pick in the draft. Chicago selected Matheson Jacopelli with the pick.

Bollig scored seven goals in 82 games for the 'Hawks last year. He's a fourth-line player who throws his body around, which will help a very young Flames team.

The 27-year-old has a $1.25 million cap hit and three more years left on his deal.

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