Spezza OK to return

Jason Spezza at a promotion event for Ben & Jerry's in Toronto. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI AGENCY)

Jason Spezza at a promotion event for Ben & Jerry's in Toronto. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI AGENCY)

DAVE FULLER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:07 PM ET

TORONTO — Does Jason Spezza want to return to Ottawa next season?

Does he want to be traded?

Is he angry at Senators GM Bryan Murray?

So many questions, so few answers.

Spezza, who didn’t take kindly to being booed by the home crowd during the Senators’ first-round playoff exit, doesn’t seem to have convinced himself that he should be happy to return for another season in Ottawa.

Sens general manager Bryan Murray considers the schism serious enough he’s asked to meet with Spezza prior to the June 25-26 NHL draft in Los Angeles.

“As a hockey player, I don’t have a say if they trade me,” Spezza said Thursday. “If not, obviously, I’m happy to go back there.”

Maybe, but he wasn’t really smiling when he used the word “happy.”

“I got the impression that he was quite unhappy at the end,” Murray told Rogers Sportsnet on Wednesday. “I think the coverage he felt he got and the fan reaction a couple of times left him kind of wanting a little bit.”

Spezza didn’t dispute this on Thursday.

“I was just disappointed that we lost and I was just disappointed how things went (with the fans/media),” he said following an announcement that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream will lend its support to the NHL Players’ Association’s Goals & Dreams program.

Spezza was joined by NHLers John Tavares, Steve Stamkos and Luke Schenn — each donning a Ben & Jerry’s blue-and-white hockey jersey for the event at Toronto’s Moss Park Arena.

Spezza, who grew up a Leafs fan, clearly didn’t appreciate Murray going public about their player-exit chat.

“Yeah, we had a conversation at the end of the year,” he said. “That’s between me and Bryan ... and that’s how I want to keep it.”

Tavares was more upbeat, despite a stress fracture in his right foot ‹ a result of last month’s World Hockey Championship in Germany.

“Against Sweden I took a shot on the foot and had X-rays done the next day. They came back negative so I played the rest of the tournament,” said Tavares, who led Canada with seven goals.

“I got home, started walking around, and I still had some soreness. The medical staff in New York just wanted to check up on it so yesterday I had an MRI and it revealed a stress fracture.”

Fortunately for the Islanders, the boot comes off in two weeks and he’ll be fine for training camp.

As for Schenn and Stamkos, they don’t know what to expect four months from now. Both the Leafs and Stamkos’ Lightning are looking at extensive renovations.

“(Changes) are out of our control and you don’t want to think about it too much,” Schenn said. “As players, we don’t know too much. We have about as much knowledge as the public.”

Stamkos, who scored an NHL-leading 51 goals to share the Rocket Richard Trophy with Sidney Crosby, heads to Las Vegas in three weeks to accept his award.

The NHLPA’s Goals & Dream program, launched in 1999, has donated hockey equipment to less-privileged kids in 22 countries, including Canada. A portion from every pint of Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Hat Trick ice cream, will be donated to Goals & Dreams.

“You remember when you were a kid and this is where it all starts,” Stamkos said. “When you’re a young kid and you don’t have the luxury of having that equipment regularly handed to you — for this partnership to be able to provide that is extremely exciting for me and exciting for them.”


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