A 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.
Brendan Perlini is off to an impressive start this season with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the American Hockey League. The scoring has been there. The production has been there.
Averaging a point per game with 11 goals through 16 contests in the minors, Perlini is on his way to the NHL. The Arizona Coyotes officially recalled the 20-year-old forward — selected 12th overall in the 2014 draft — from Tuscon on Sunday.
The rebuilding, youthful Coyotes are last in the Pacific Division right now, stuck with eight wins through 23 games.
They gave up 60 shots to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday but managed to earn a single point thanks to the play of their goalie Mike Smith.
The Coyotes are on the road Monday and Tuesday this week. They’ll open this quick trip against Columbus, although it hasn’t been determined when Perlini will get into the lineup.
But with a back-to-back situation on the road, it seems likely he’ll make his NHL debut at some point in the next two days.
“Brendan possesses elite speed and goal scoring ability,” said general manager John Chayka. “He has led the AHL in scoring early on and we believe he has earned the opportunity to show what he can do at the NHL level.”
Not much in the way of pleasantries between the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.
It started with Jordin Tootoo and Chris Thorburn dropping the gloves just 2:22 into this Central Division contest, with the Jets forward earning the takedown at the end of the scrap.
Bit of a size mismatch. Tootoo is listed at five-foot-nine-inches and 195 pounds, while Thorburn is six-foot-three-inches tall and 235 pounds.
Both teams are missing key players in this one.
Jonathan Toews is once again out of the Chicago lineup — and, it was revealed before Sunday’s game, that he won’t skate for the next few days — while Mark Scheifele misses this game for the Jets.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read is done for the night with an upper-body injury, the team announced.
Read, who only played three shifts today, was hit into the net by Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg during the first period. Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced the veteran forward suffered an upper-body injury.
There was no call on the play.
In 26 games this season, Read has six goals and 10 points.
Alexander Radulov has been a pretty good acquisition for the Montreal Canadiens, and he continued to prove that Sunday against the L.A. Kings.
Radulov scored in the shootout against the Kings, helping the Canadiens to a 5-4 victory. He also scored in the second period and had two assists for a three-point night. Not bad.
But his shootout goal was sweet. Just made it look easy, as he went to the backhand, top shelf on Peter Budaj.
With reported tension between coach Michel Therrien and Max Pacioretty, the Habs captain scored twice and had an assist. Another three-point night.
So, the Habs got offensive contributions from their best players.
That said, one of their best players, Alex Galchenyuk left the game late in the third period after a collision with Anze Kopitar away from the puck.
Galchenyuk didn’t return for the overtime. In 25 games, he has nine goals and 23 points, emerging as the No. 1 center in Montreal when the season began.