Remember all that talk in the last few months about how Jason Spezza wanted to be traded out of Ottawa and create a potentially Dany Heatley-esque situation for the second straight summer for the Senators? Yeah… Turns out that Jason Spezza never wanted anything of the sort. Wayne Scanlan of The Ottawa Citizen gets word right from the man himself and boy has he got a lot to say.
“I just want to clear up a lot of the talk going on, at no point did I ever demand a trade to Bryan Murray,” Spezza said. “I’ve seen a lot of what’s been written and talked about.
“At the end of the year, I was pretty emotional and upset. I was upset at losing, I was upset at response I got (booed at home), I talked to Bryan about — I see it in the newspapers every year, they talk about me, and I said, if you want to move you can move me . . . if you think it’s best for the team.”
“He told me he wasn’t going to move me and that was the understanding I was under.
“I wanted to make sure I did what was best for the team, and he did what was best for the team.
“Seems like every year, it’s ‘should I get traded, should I not get traded,’ it gets to the point where you’re sick of it a little bit.
“But my priorities are here in Ottawa. I want to win in Ottawa. I have great friends here. We have great roots here. My family enjoys it. I’m close to home.
“I’m excited that we’re moving forward, and some of the moves we’ve made.”
I’m sure some Sens fans would hope that Spezza would use some of that fire and anger he’s got for where the rumors come from and use it on the ice so that he doesn’t get abused by Sidney Crosby during the playoffs again. As far as Spezza’s ability to handle the, ahem, tough fans in Ottawa and how it felt getting booed, maybe he just needs a post-game hug now and again.
“It’s tough when you’re trying. I was trying. Trying to score. Trying to get us to win. I thought we had a good team. You get booed a little bit. We’re human, it definitely hurts you a little bit. I understand it’s part of the game. More than anyone I’ve put up with a lot, and been able to overcome a lot through my career here. I understand that with the good comes the bad, and al that. I was emotional at the end of the year, I was upset that we lost. I thought the team had a good chance to win, especially in the east.
“It’s disappointing when you get booed like that at home. But it’s part of the game and I’ll move forward.”
It’s pretty amazing to see a guy take things so much to heart, especially when he’s not even the captain of the team. Then again, if it was Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson having these kinds of emotional outburts, you have to wonder if that would make Sens fans freak out. Spezza’s been a bit of an easy target through his career in Ottawa as he’s got huge talent but is always the second or third banana when it comes to stardom in Canada’s capital city. Perhaps it’s almost better that way.