Does Jason Spezza want out of Ottawa?


spezzaout.jpgA year after Dany Heatley forced a messy divorce with the Ottawa Senators, rumors are swirling that talented-but-frustrating center Jason Spezza might want a trade too. After all, he must have a bad taste in his mouth after home fans booed him toward the end of the team’s first round match with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The shifty playmaker commands a hefty $7 million contract that runs through the 2014-15 season, so his team might be just as interested in moving him as Spezza could be to leave. For their part, both parties are saying the right things. The National Post shares that Spezza claims he wants to be back in Ottawa while Senators GM Bryan Murray thinks that things will settle down as emotions subside during the summer.

“I got an impression that he was quite unhappy at the end,” Senators general manager Bryan Murray told Sportsnet in regards to his season-ending meeting with Spezza. “I think the coverage he felt he got and the fan reaction a couple of times left him kind of wanting a little bit. But I don’t think it’s anything beyond that. My next conversation with him will be away from the emotion of playoff time to see what we can do and what we have to do.”

While Spezza said his meeting with Murray was confidential, he hinted that he was unhappy with the response he received from fans.

“There’s always things that happen at the end of the year,” said Spezza, who finished the season with 23 goals and 57 points in 60 games. “Just kind of airing out what I thought and what he thought. It’s always good to have conversations and good communications.”

Despite being a bit leaky on the defensive side of the ice, Spezza produced some nice results at times last season. He was just short of a point per game with 57 points in 60 games and contributed greatly during the Senators sporadic hot streaks.

Can the team really withstand the loss of 2/3 of what was once perhaps the best line in hockey (Heatley, Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson)? At the same time, Spezza is a pricey player, even for his solid production. It sounds like this situation is a lot healthier than the Heatley fiasco, but that doesn’t mean Spezza’s guaranteed to be a Senator in the future. We’ll just have to wait and see.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.