Spezza kept in the fold, but it's a costly move

John Muckler isn't sitting around on this day off, as he spent the day signing Jason Spezza to a new two-year, $9 million deal.

Yes, that's right. Spezza will be paid as much as Eric Staal this coming season, except the 'Canes got Staal for one more season.

When the Staal deal was signed, I figured it would have an impact on Spezza's contract, but not in the sense that they would be for the same money. Staal was more important to his team and was a major part of his team winning the Stanley Cup. Spezz had a decent, albeit inconsistent, postseason, but the Sens failed to get out of the second round.

If Staal is worth $4.5 million, I figured, at most, Spezza was in the $4 mil area. You might say squabbling over $500K is a waste of time, but in this cap world, half a million bucks is a whole lot, especially for a team like the Sens who will be close against it.

So how in the world can Muckler justify this deal?

I'm all for locking up Spezza long-term but two years isn't a major committment (though that seems to be what the guys are taking to stay; do they know something I don't?).

Spezza had no arbitration rights so his only option was to play hardplay and not report to camp.

Oh, and in case you're wondering...

I'm beginning to wonder if the people at ScotiaBank Place have a plan. I assume they do, but assuming anything with this regime has proven to be dumb in the past.

Even if they unload Martin Havlat, they'll still be way over the self-imposed cap of (supposedly) $40 million.