Spezza: Olympic snub ‘not my motivation for success’ with Sens

5 Comments

Jamie Benn wanted to shove it in Team Canada’s face.

Joffrey Lupul found it very disappointing.

Jason Spezza? He says it’s no big deal.

We’re talking, of course, about being snubbed by Team Canada for an invite to the Olympic orientation camp, which is currently underway in Calgary.

While Benn and Lupul were peeved about their omissions, Spezza — who finished fourth in the NHL in scoring in 2011-12, with 84 points — seemed to be taking it in stride.

“It’s not my focus, by no means,” Spezza told the Ottawa Citizen. “It’s a little bit of motivation. Maybe it gives me a little chip on my shoulder, but it’s not my motivation for success this year.

“It’s just something that you can’t control.”

The 30-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued 2013 campaign, in which he missed 43 regular season and seven playoff games with a back ailment. He did manage to suit up for Ottawa’s final three games in a second-round loss to Pittsburgh but was largely ineffective, scoring just one point.

That down season is probably why Spezza’s come to grips with the snub. The other reason? He’s been there before.

Spezza was passed over for Olympic orientation camp in 2009, as well — this despite the fact he averaged 85 points in each of the four seasons leading up to it.

Now, he’s trying to focus on two things: 1) staying healthy, and 2) performing for Ottawa.

“When they select teams like that, you could be having the best year of your life and they’d still find a way not to have you there,” Spezza explained. “So for me, I just want to play well [in Ottawa] and do well here.”