How did Jason Spezza come to be put on Sens’ trade block?

Earlier this month, Bryan Murray (left) was quoted as saying Jason Spezza 'requested we give him a chance to go elsewhere.' Some close to Spezza say the discussion was layered.

What was said between Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray and center Jason Spezza before Murray told media at the NHL’s GM meetings earlier this month that the team’s captain had “requested we give him a chance to go elsewhere"?

According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, some close to Spezza are saying discussion between the two was complex.

Those sources reportedly say Spezza told Murray at the end of the season that he was on board for a quick rebuild, in which top-tier players would join the team. However, if the team planned on a complete overhaul, Spezza allegedly thought it would be more beneficial for the team to cash in on him now. In the latter scenerio, Spezza allegedly would not be averse to being traded to approved destinations.

Here’s Campbell breaking it down further:

But at no time did he make any demands, according to those close to Spezza. He loves Ottawa and would have been happy to stay. He likes Murray and has had a good relationship with him and the feelings are mutual. Murray would probably prefer not to deal Spezza, but sees that the player will be an unrestricted free agent in a year and knows the best thing for the organization would be to get return for him now rather than as a rental at the trade deadline if the Senators are out of the playoff picture.

Murray told the the Canadian Press at the GM meetings: “I don’t want to trade the guy, really, and I know I won’t get the value, in all likelihood that I should get for him. But I think that Jason feels maybe there’s a change that he would like to have happen, and if that’s the case we’ll try to do what we can.”

He also said Spezza didn’t want to take the heat of playing in the Canadian capital anymore, Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported.

According to a Thursday report from the Sun, Murray didn’t portray Spezza as overly pushy, but reiterated that Spezza requested the possibility of a trade be explored: "It’s not quite as extreme as the Dany Heatley thing. Dany basically came in and said, ‘I’m outta here.’ Jason hasn’t really done that. He’s come in and asked if we would consider this for him."

Both Campbell and Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski have weighed in on why it matters how the situation played out. Two interesting points:

Campbell: “… there is an enormous difference between demanding a trade and welcoming the possibility of one. The former paints Spezza as a whiny, pampered millionaire who isn’t getting his way and wants to take his talents somewhere else.

Wyshynski: “… the way it’s spun (by Spezza’s camp) put him in that classic ‘star player doesn’t want to alienate fans’ mode of claiming none of this was his idea or his doing.

We probably will never know the exact nature of the discussions, but what we eventually will find out is what colors Spezza will wear next year.