I don't want Spezza on this team, but this plus minus talk is silly. You can't use his -26 this year against him and then fail to give him credit for his career +53. He's got a better career plus minus than Mike Richards, who was a finalist for the Selke Trophy.
Either it's a terrible stat and shouldn't be used at all, or it's a good enough stat which has to be used to validate a player just as much as it's used to denigrate them.
Personally, I don't think Spezza's a great defensive player. BUT, he's better than his -26 indicated this season, and he's probably worse than his career high +26 indicates as well.
It's a limited stat. That's how I think of it. It can tell you something, but, generally, don't take it at face value. Case in point: Jason Spezza this season. The Sens sucked this season. (Apologies to the resident Sens fan.) They absolutely leaked goals. Neither of their goalies could stop a beach ball. And yet, Spezza was, I think (haven't formally checked), about a point-per-game player. So, on the second line of a defensively responsible team like the Wings? I tend to think he'd be a difference-maker, without having the baggage of a captaincy and being The Guy. If I'm Spezza, that's what I want.
What happened to the Ducks? I thought they were in on him? That'd be an interesting match.
Francine straight up for Spezza I would do in an instant. Toss in Kindl if needed.
Take away the 15 goals Franzen's going to score against the Sens every season and they become a playoff team.