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

Aug 27, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

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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.”

  1. canucks30 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    If he was a better skater he would get a more serious look for the big ice surface. He’s also become rather injury prone.

    The fact Canada has Crosby, Toews, Stamkos, Tavares, Staal, Giroux, Getzlaf, Bergeron, and Richards (among others) at centre isn’t helping his cause either.

    I still don’t understand the Jamie Benn snub though as he has youth on his side and has shown he can play wing effectively (unlike Spezza).

  2. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    There’s always really good players left out in the cold with Team Canada. With guys like Crosby, Toews, Bergeron, Staal, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Giroux, Tavares, Duchene, Thornton… Canada’s so stacked at center. Plus Spezza’s recent injury history doesn’t help his chances one bit. It’s easy to see how he could be overlooked.

    Lots of guys like that. You can throw Jamie Benn and Joffrey Lupul on the injured too much list as well. Even Cam Ward in net… If they would have played full seasons the way they were playing, they most likely would have been invited to the camp.

  3. nyrnashty - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Look at the bright side, he gets 2 weeks off now in the middle of the season… NOT BAD!

  4. sjsharks66 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Im glad that Thornton, Couture and Pavelski will be playing through the 2 weeks off from the NHL. Keep them fresh for a return.

    For Spezza though, with all his injuries the 2 weeks will be a great break. He really has nothing to prove to the “snub” he is a great hockey player and I’m sure anyone on here would want him on their team.

  5. canadianguest - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Spezza wants to represent his country, it’s why he played in the Spengler cup. Wasn’t Tavares his winger in that tournament?

    Either way, Canada will have great players at the Olympics.

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