In a recent media scrum Murray was asked point blank about Spezza’s future with the Senators, and his attitude toward remaining on the club, and here’s what the GM had to say;
“…the impression I got was that he (Spezza) was unhappy at the end of the year, only because of what happened in the play-offs and at the later part (of the season); Number one that we didn’t win, number two that the response to him wasn’t very positive. He, as I said, is under contract, he’s a player we have built to going forward, not a team around, but certainly counted on as being an important part of our hockey team. And, like every player, it’s a possibility that I get an offer I can’t refuse, in turn it’s not something I’m trying to do in a real intense way. I’m certainly going to talk to teams about a variety of things, but I agree he wasn’t very happy at the end of the year.”
And further, after another question from Garrioch about Spezza requesting a trade earlier in the summer, Murray responded;
“He said he wouldn’t object to one. He didn’t come in and say ‘I have to be traded’. He didn’t object to the fact that maybe it’s time, you know, the way I’ve (Spezza) been received now and that maybe it’s time I (Murray) look around. I said (to Jason) ‘unfortunately that just doesn’t happen, you’ve signed a long term contract, we’ve committed to you, you’ve committed to us. We will look at everything that’s going to help our hockey team, but I’m not going to make a bad trade.
In response to a question concerning Spezza possibly making a problem for the club, if he is not traded, Bryan had this reply;
“No I don’t. I think it’s a different person…if you remember back (to) last year when Dany demanded what he demanded, Jason was one of the guys who stood up and recognized that the organization had to be looked after, and that if Dany was going to move on he should move on and let the team continue to play. So I don’t see that at all. I see a guy at the endo of the year, for a variety of reasons wasn’t as happy as we’d like him to be, but that’s life, that’s the NHL, that’s pro athletes today. They want to be on a winning team, they want to be in a good environment, they want a lot of things and all we can do is so much for them and that, hope thing work out. Going forward, if Jason Spezzas here, he’s a quality person and I’m sure he’ll play as hard as he can.”
So, decide for yourselves what his statement mean, but here’s my 2 cents, for what it’s worth.
Jason feels like he was skape-goated for the teams early play-off exit. He feels his desire to win was called into question, his skill was called into question, and if he isn’t wanted, why would he stay?
We’ve all experienced this emotion, but unlike Jason, we don’t have to do it in public.
Poor little rich kid, I know, but money isn’t everything, and it certainly does little or nothing to quell the internal storm that constant criticism can stir. If it did, would that really be good? I, in some way, am glad Jason is pissed. I’m not saying the criticism is fair, but thankfully he isn’t a soul-less pay check player.
I fact, if I were Spezza, I’d be wondering why I, the guy with more than a point a game performance, while playing with a rookie and a 3rd liner, was the goat.
At the end of the day I thin all sides need to take something from this. The media needs to be more professional in their criticism of players, and commentary vis-a-vis their performances. Fans need to wake up to the fact that nobody, no matter their salary, is perfect. Don’t forget, Alfie was all but run out of this town, there should rest lesson enough for all of us to grasp a little perspective. Murray has to strive to land a player able to make the most of Jason’s superior offensive abilities, and lastly, Jason has to accept being a marquee player brings with it a healthy dose of criticism, undeserved or not.
As for the A-train, Murray was more cryptic. He stated no other club has expressed interest in Volchys rights, but then also implied he hopes to acquire a 2nd rnd pick for this years draft. As well, tellingly, he spoke of a desire to improve the teams mobility and offense at the blueline. Volchy is neither offensive, nor particularly mobile.
I for one got the impression Murray was letting the Anton camp know that they do not represent a “key” role on the roster, and if they want to be paid as such, they’ll have to look elsewhere.