Traded to Edmonton in January of 2006, he finished the year strong with 19 points in 31 regular season games, followed with 14 in 24 playoff games. He was dropping hints he liked the city.
And then it happened.
Spacek signed in Buffalo - 3 years, 10M.
Scott Howson, who negotiated this contract commented on the situation:
"We were willing to meet the price he was asking for, the money was similar on both sides, but he wanted to go to the other team for one reason or the other," said Howson. "It wasn't a case of he didn't like it here, but when you get to unrestricted and you get to choose your team, a lot of things can come into play. I didn't get the reason why he chose and, to be honest, I'm not very interested in it at this point."
It was clear, at least on surface, that Spacek left primarily because he didn't want to face the pressure of being heavily leaned upon, after the Pronger saga opened to the public. This was later implied by Spacek himself in an nhl.com interview ["They had a few guys leaving and..."]
Perhaps the Oilers should have outbid the Sabres to keep him around. He's having a hell of a season [50 GP, 9 goals, 19 assists, 28 points, 23:20 TOI, 2:35 SH TOI, 4:04 PP TOI] at a reasonable salary.
We could use a veteran Spacek these days.
And it sure as hell would make me more comfortable moving Steve Staios.