With the end of another disappointing season, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray has some serious decisions to make in order to get his club back on track. Media outlets everywhere are finger pointing and signalling out Jason Spezza as the centrepiece of all that’s gone wrong. Departed is long time captain Daniel Alfredsson. This happened during last summer’s free agency. So when Jason Spezza was appointed the new captain of the Senators, he knew immediately, that it was big shoes to fill, in succeeding the long time captain.
In terms of production, Spezza scored 23 goals, and tallied 43 assists for 66 points which was good for second on the team trailing only superstar Erik Karlsson. Keep in mind most players would trail Karlsson in points regardless of which team he was on, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, fans and media alike have continued to questions Spezza’s performance and leadership throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong, he does have his faithful supporters, however, there are always people at the other end of the spectrum. Hey, that’s sports!
I do agree, there have been points during the season, where he has been non-effective, it happens to all players, at some points in their career. However in Ottawa, I believe when people and media are questioning his leadership, they are constantly comparing him to Daniel Alfredsson. Ladies and gentlemen, he’s not. He’s Jason Spezza.
Performance and leadership aside, another issue regarding his status as a Senator, is the fact that he only has a year remaining left on his current contract. With that in mind, does Murray try and re-sign him, or does he move him while he can still get something in return? Right now Jason Spezza is still in his prime. At 30-years old, he would be an asset to numerous clubs around the league in need for a number 1 or 2 centre. For example, the Dallas Stars, or even the St. Louis Blues. Both teams, would have good use for a player of Jason Spezza’s talents, and in turn provide a nice return in the form of youth, prospects, and/or draft picks. This would add to an already talented core of Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Curtis Lazar, Robin Lehner, and more.
Think about it, it’s better than losing him for nothing at the end of next season.
With the General Managers all together this week for meetings and the 2014 NHL Entry Draft taking place on June 27-28 from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There is no doubt in my mind that his name will be in play.
The bigger question is if owner Eugene Melnyk stays out of the way to let Bryan Murray do his job? I understand it’s the owners business, however, if you hire a good GM, a true hockey person, he is more than capable in getting the job done without the micromanagement.
Somehow, I think Eugene will be right behind Bryan every step of the way.