NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on November 25, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils won the game 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jason Spezza has informed Hockey Canada he is willing to participate in the Spengler Cup and to put it succinctly, it sickens me.
On one hand, here is a player who has historically gone to considerable lengths to ingratiate himself to the fans, the organization, the media and his teammates. And we can add Hockey Canada to this growing list.
Look, I understand this need to politick and make a favorable impression on HC brass as they do value loyalty and rewarding players who continue to answer the call.
And with Sochi little more than a year away, Spezza’s willingness to play in the Spengler Cup should be seen for what it is: a fringe candidate who is eager to do whatever it takes to make the Olympic roster.
Maybe that’s a harsh assessment of the situation and whether or not Spezza dons the maple leaf at the 2013 World Championships, he should not have to play in the Spengler. His exemplary numbers and play stand on their own merits. Moreover, the pool of candidates to choose from at the center position for Sochi is deep: Stamkos, Giroux, Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, Tavares, the Staals; and Bergeron. Even other younger fringe guys like Seguin, RNH, Benn and Couture could have Spezza on the outside looking in.
More importantly, the REAL reason why Spezza’s potential inclusion on a Spengler Cup roster is disappointing is because he would instantly become the best current/former Sens player to ever play in the event. For me anyways, part of the mystique of the Spengler Cup is to look at the roster and see those Senators players of lore whose careers swirled down the drain; eventually finding themselves on a Spengler Cup roster. Should Spezza play, it takes away from the endearing ********** that I associate with the tournament.
Who doesn’t like to look back at some of these historic rosters and fondly recall players like Jean-Yves Roy, Joel Kwiatkowski, Brendan Bell, Alex Auld, Chris Herperger, Yves Sarault, 6th Sens poster boy Alexander Daigle, or a Daniel Laperriere? (Okay, not so much Alex Auld; that wound is still a little too fresh.)
I mean, does anyone remember that notorious trade that sent Kevin Brown to the Ducks for Mike Maneluk?
Don’t ruin this for me Jason. You’re too good for this. Don’t lower yourself to play in the Spengler. Don’t go.