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. A taste of revenge? Blackhawks deal blow to Kings’ playoff hopes

    Mar 30, 2015, 11:13 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Chicago ran Los Angeles out of the rink on Monday.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Kings at Blackhawks

    Mar 30, 2015, 8:02 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    A new wrinkle to the rivalry.

  3. Quick healer: Paquette’s playing for Lightning

    Mar 30, 2015, 7:35 PM EDT

    Cedric Paquette Cedric Paquette

    He shakes off Saturday’s scary crash.

  4. Blackhawks tease good injury news for Kane

    Mar 30, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane AP

    Could he be ahead of schedule?

  5. Get your game notes: Kings at Blackhawks

    Mar 30, 2015, 5:33 PM EDT

    Jarret Stoll, Michal Handzus AP

    L.A.’s first time back in Chicago since Game 7 of last year’s Western Conference Final.

  6. Foley sees ‘advantage’ with no state income tax in Nevada

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:56 PM EDT

    Hockey Vision Las Vegas News Conference To Announce NHL Season Ticket Drive Getty Images

    Could be helpful in attracting and retaining free agents.

  7. Foley: NHL has ‘no objection’ as Vegas begins selling tickets to casinos

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:46 PM EDT

    Las Vegas Getty Images

    The drive began by focusing on individuals for season ticket packages.

  8. Jets could get Little back versus Rangers

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    “I think it’s going to come right down to the morning skate.”

  9. Habs preaching intensity, looking to avoid season sweep by Bolts

    Mar 30, 2015, 1:58 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    “A win tonight would be good for our team, both physically and mentally.”

  10. Report: Ex-NHLer Deveaux has contract terminated after vicious slash

    Mar 30, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Incident occurred prior to a promotion game in the Swedish league.

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (2141)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2110)
  3. D. Dubnyk (2026)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1953)
  5. A. Hammond (1812)
  1. B. Little (1690)
  2. K. Shattenkirk (1638)
  3. A. Steen (1604)
  4. K. Letang (1572)
  5. D. Hamilton (1570)