Ottawa gets another Spezza

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

The Spezza brothers of Brampton are cornering the market on Ottawa's major hockey teams.

Goalie Matthew Spezza, the 18-year-old younger brother of Senators centre Jason Spezza, became property of the Ottawa 67's yesterday after the OHL team acquired him in a trade with the Kingston Frontenacs for future considerations.

The 67's have no immediate plans to bring Spezza to town to serve as a third goalie behind Danny Battochio and Anthony Guadagnolo. But Spezza hopes it's sooner rather than later that he'll be in town, where he'll join his older sister who attends the University of Ottawa.

"Hopefully, the NHL season starts up soon so we'll all be there together," said Matthew in an interview from his Brampton home yesterday.

Jason Spezza, locked out of the NHL, is playing for the Senators' AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He leads the league in assists (35), and is tied with Yanick Lehoux of the Manchester Monarchs for most points (49).

Brian Kilrea, the 67's coach/GM, made the deal with his old buddy, Kingston GM Larry Mavety, for extra insurance in net in case either one of his goalies gets injured during the second half of the season or the playoffs.

Earlier this year, Guadagnolo served as the team's only netminder for two weeks while Battochio recovered from a shoulder injury.

"He's a good goalie. I saw him in a tournament in Toronto last year and I liked him," said Kilrea. "He just didn't get much opportunity to play down in Kingston. I like the idea of having another goaltender in our system."

Drafted into the OHL (eighth round) by Brampton in 2002, Spezza spent last season in Tier II with the Lindsay Muskies of the Ontario Provincial Junior A league.

He was traded to Kingston during the summer and made the Frontenacs roster with a strong training camp.

Spezza went 2-4-1 with a 3.39 GAA and a .890 save percentage in 10 games with Kingston.

He got his first OHL win on Oct. 9 in Peterborough.

"Hopefully, Mr. Kilrea will give me a chance to come up there and prove to the team that I can help the team out to a better season," said Spezza.

Asked if he expected to only get a call if one of the current goalies gets hurt, Spezza replied, "It depends. If someone gets injured, or if one of them's not playing their best game or not playing strong, hopefully I can come up there and play."

IN THE CREASE: The 67's expect newcomers Brad Staubitz and Jamie VanderVeeken to join the team today for practice after they were acquired in a trade Monday from the Soo for Brody Todd and Tyson Aitcheson ... The 67's are back in action at home Friday against Erie (7:30 p.m.).


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