Skip to content

Under Pressure: Jason Spezza

Aug 8, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT

Jason Spezza AP

The Dallas Stars were able to end their five season playoff drought in 2013-14, but getting to advancing to the postseason was only the first step in their quest to reclaim the Stanley Cup.

They have an uphill battle ahead of them and are hoping that acquiring Jason Spezza over the summer will help them close that gap. Spezza, 31, had 23 goals and 66 points in 75 games last season, but was frustrated about his plus/minus rating and, according to Senators GM Bryan Murray, ultimately wanted out of Ottawa because he was blamed too often when the club didn’t win.

Although he asked to be moved, he was at least somewhat particular about his destination and went as far as to veto a trade to Nashville. Maybe the reason he ultimately agreed to go to Dallas was because he saw its potential, given that it’s led by 25-year-old Jamie Benn and 22-year-old Tyler Seguin.

It’s possible that the idea of being “just a piece to the puzzle,” as Spezza put it, also appealed to him. He’s going from being the captain and focal point of the Senators, to the Stars’ second-line center, which in some respects takes some of the pressure off of him.

At the same time, the Stars didn’t give up a second round pick, Alex Chiasson, Nicholas Paul, Alexander Guptill, and Ludwig Karlsson to make Spezza comfortable. The Stars will be relying heavily on him to provide them with a second great scoring line.

On top of that, the value of his next contract could be largely determined by what he does in 2014-15. Spezza is closing out his seven-year, $49 million deal. Stars GM Jim Nill is “pretty confident” that he can re-sign him, but if Spezza doesn’t end up meshing well with the Stars, then Nill might reevaluate his plans.

So while Spezza has traveled roughly 1,420 miles from Ottawa to Dallas, he hasn’t escaped the expectations thrust upon him.

Latest Posts
  1. Shero: Buying out Zubrus creates flexibility to add forward

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:27 PM EDT

    Dainius Zubrus Getty Images

    “It really wasn’t about Dainius himself.”

  2. Gillette Stadium will host Bruins-Habs alumni game ahead of Winter Classic

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    2016 Winter Classic Logo

    The contest will air on Dec. 31 while the Classic itself is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

  3. Ryan Murray: ‘I have to show up and prove it’

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT

    Ryan Murray AP

    Staying healthy would help, too.

  4. Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    The Seal Beach Detention Center isn’t exactly Shawshank.

  5. Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars training camp Getty Images

    “I relaxed down there and came back with the same attitude and everything kind of took care of itself.”

  6. Zubrus on unconditional waivers for purpose of terminating his contract

    Jul 29, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Veteran forward had just four goals and six assists in 74 games last season.

  7. Talbot knows he has a ‘great opportunity’ in Edmonton

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Cam Talbot AP

    Can he give the Oilers the goaltending they so badly need?

  8. Report: Rangers prospect Andersson headed to North America

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    ERC Ingolstadt v EV Zug - Champions Hockey League Getty Images

    Spent last season with Lugano in the Swiss League.

  9. Report: Visnovsky considering European options

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: Lubomir Visnovsky #11 of the New York Islanders in action against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. The New York Islanders won, 1-0. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Potentially a move to Switzerland, or the Czech League.

  10. Sabres name Cunneyworth AHL head coach

    Jul 28, 2015, 8:39 PM EDT

    Randy Cunneyworth Getty Images

    Returning him to Rochester for a third time.

  11. Orpik undergoes wrist surgery, should be ready for season opener

    Jul 28, 2015, 7:39 PM EDT

    PA: Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Washington d-man is expected to miss the next two weeks of offseason training.

  12. Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:39 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    Nice payday after posting a career-high in goals this season.

  13. For Pens, Tuesday’s moves were all about depth and finances up front

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:23 PM EDT

    Jim Rutherford AP

    “When you look at the structure of our salaries and our cap, it’s important to get those bottom-six cap hits in better shape.”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Holtby (2459)
  2. D. Stepan (2438)
  3. G. Bettman (2311)
  4. A. Larsson (2238)
  5. A. Semin (1617)
  1. L. Couture (1443)
  2. J. Toews (1419)
  3. A. Chiasson (1335)
  4. C. Ehrhoff (1319)
  5. M. Johansson (1279)