Is Spezza Finished in Ottawa?

Jason Spezza has been spending most of his Thursday dismissing reports that he’s asked for a trade from the Ottawa Senators, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s happy with the team or with his role on it.

Spezza met with Senators GM Bryan Murray during the usual end of the year talk and expressed displeasure with being the “whipping boy” in Ottawa. It’s a valid claim, especially considering how hard Sens fans can be on the centreman. Blamed almost entirely for his team’s playoff failure, Spezza hasn’t exactly been a fan favourite.

Spezza has a no-trade clause which kicks into gear on July 1, so there’s some rounded speculation that he may be traded prior to the date. The feeling is right now that the Senators wouldn’t be all that opposed to moving him, either, especially if it was for the right price and to the right place. But with five years left on his contract and a cap hit of $7 million per year (!), he’s not the easiest guy to offload.

In 2007, Spezza signed a seven-year contract extension worth a whopping $49 million.

You have to imagine that Spezza would appreciate a fresh start in another market, too, especially with his reputation quickly becoming inescapable. At 26, he’s still a young player and yet he’s shouldered all of the responsibilities in a tough hockey market that’s seen its fair share of disappointment. He finished the regular season with 57 points in 60 games and popped in a goal and added six assists in his team’s playoff series against the Penguins, but fans seem most poised to focus on the fact that he went -3 in the series.

It’s this time of rain cloud sentiment that has to be bogging Spezza down as a young player. Without the ability to gain any momentum among a slew of fair weather fans – we have no shortage of those in Vancouver, so don’t think it’s an Ottawa thing – it’s hard for him to gain ground and work on his skills.

It’s probably the best thing for both the Senators and Spezza, to say nothing of their fairweather fans, to part ways before it’s too late. Moving him prior to July 1 could open up some options for off-season building and could take the team in a new direction. It could also give a young player a fresh start.

Posted by Jordan Richardson.

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4 thoughts on “Is Spezza Finished in Ottawa?


    Lets see
    Zdeno Chara, Dany Heatley, Ray Emery, Marion Hossa Wade Redden & many Others played for the Senators and their gone, now possibly Jason Spezza.
    Not that all of these endings were bitter but most had some dark light surrounded to them.
    Maybe the curse of Alex Yashin and Rod Bryden will haunt the Senators for some time
    In regards to communication and solid team core they have been a mess for quite some time ( actually since they started until now )
    I believe the biggest Jerk of them all is Bryan Murray, he has a knack for turning his back on his players.
    The whole team lost to the Penguins, Seriously did Murray think goal tending would be enough?

    Jason Spezza Has done great things for this organization
    When he started he was very patient as he would be frequently sent to the minors for extra conditioning, he did what a lot of athletes wouldn’t did not complain and remained focus, he just did what was told to do and everything take care of it self.
    So this is how they repay him? Blame just him?
    I am sorry Danny Alfreddson should be the one to shoulder things. After all he is their captain.
    Well maybe Spezza will be able to move on from the city who gave up on him.
    He is expensive but there is always a way for a rival team to pry a great play maker, If there is a need the door will be knocking
    In the end if Spezza plays elsewhere, You can say Bryan Murray may not make horrible trades like John Ferguson the ex Leaf GM or Mike Milbury the guy who was brutal in Long Island. But in terms of player relations he stinks.
    Ask Guys from his earlier days in Washington they will tell you the same thing
    He is arrogant and his teams success falls on his shoulders, he puts everything together not Jason Spezza for crying out loud.
    I hope Spezza will move on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. I meant Brian Elliot & Pascal Leclaire
    Did Murray really these two would be the answer?
    As far as having any impact,
    These guys were going to do nothing & and of course they did nothing!


  3. I think the Spezza criticism, while unfair, has merit. He’s currently one of the laziest players in the last few years, as his current production indicates. Here’s a top 100+ point grabber just finishing under or near a point a game. He’s struggled defensively and at times seems uninterested in the current team and system that’s implemented. I respect Spezza for the player he can be, just not what he currently is.


  4. Tom, first of all production isn’t necessarily an indicator of player “laziness.”

    Second, you don’t pot 57 points in 60 games because you’re a “lazy” player, so I’m not sure the “current production” argument has merit.

    Spezza is currently the only active Senator to have an average of over a point per game (1.02 PPG with 475 points in 464 games played) – yes, even if we’re counting Alex Kovalev’s career 990 points in 1228 games. And when your lowest career point totals are 73 points in 82 games, as they were in 2008-2009 when the whole damn team was playing like crap and wound up missing the playoffs, I think that says a lot.


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