Spezza in for long haul

Unlike Heatley or Yashin , Senators centre can take good with bad in nation’s capital

Dany Heatley wanted out because his feelings were hurt.

Partly by a coach who “diminished” his role, if you actually bought that, but also by the valid criticisms being written and said of him.
That’s the truth.

Alexei Yashin refused to speak in a media scrum if a certain reporter who had questioned his motives and commitment to the team was present. Guys who played with him can now tell you how selfish he was, even after his contract holdout. But back then, having such truths relayed to the public put him in a snit, too.

And then there’s Jason Spezza .

A true pro knows that along with the good, there’s going to be some bad. Spezza gets that. He’ll read the stories about his creativity being the key to a win one day, and his blind pass the reason for a loss the next. In both cases, there’s probably more to it, but he understands what comes with the territory.

Alas, there’s fair, and there’s going overboard.

Some Ottawa fans want Spezza traded before his no-movement clause kicks in July 1. They say he’s lazy. They say he doesn’t backcheck. They say he doesn’t become “engaged” in the play. They place blame for the Senators’ early playoff elimination squarely on his shoulders.

They are using Spezza as their scapegoat.

On locker cleanout day, when someone wondered if he’s getting tired of being the lightning rod for criticism of this team, Spezza did not shake off the talk as he has in the past.


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