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Avalanche TV analyst/former player Mark Rycroft calls Sens star Jason Spezza a “wimp”

Dec 17, 2010, 9:24 PM EDT

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We haven’t seen a good player vs. announcer dust up in a good while and thankfully Avalanche TV man and former NHLer Mark Rycroft is there to fill the need. Rycroft works for the Avalanche home network, Altitude, and with the Avs and Senators set to meet up tonight in Denver, Rycroft gave his opinion of what he thinks of Senators star center Jason Spezza. Rycroft didn’t pull any punches in giving his assessment of Spezza’s play as Adrian Dater of The Denver Post tells us.

Of Spezza, Rycroft said, “He’s a wimp. He doesn’t want to go in the corners. He wants easy points.”

I looked for some kind of previous encounter with Spezza in his 226-game NHL career that might have led Rycroft to this rather frank assessment of him, but nothing really stood out.

Seems like Spezza can’t catch a break from either the home media or those on the road. The guys at home in Ottawa spent all summer wondering aloud if Spezza would be traded, if he wanted out of town, and rushed to his support once Senators GM Bryan Murray and Spezza himself made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere.

Dater makes note of Rycroft’s brief NHL career and, well, let’s face it getting such harsh words thrown Spezza’s way by Rycroft smacks of sour grapes. Then again, maybe he’s just getting used to life as a television analyst and either hasn’t learned to choose his words better or he knows the exact right way to get his name out there. You can feel free to make the call there. You’d better believe Spezza will be doing his best tonight to make Rycroft eat his words.

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