Spezza needs to go: Fans

JUSTIN SADLER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:27 PM ET

Trade him.

That’s the verdict from many Senators fans when asked whether to keep star centre Jason Spezza after news broke he is open to a trade out of Ottawa.

“He can go play for the Leafs, then we’ll kick his ass,” said one fan, Ben Denis.

He wasn’t the only suggesting such a move.

Leafs fan Robert Thompson, who was visiting Ottawa on business Monday, welcomed the idea of having Spezza play for the blue and white.

“I think Jason Spezza is a great hockey player,” he said. “I’d love to have him show up in Toronto. He needs a move, he needs to shake it up.”

News of Spezza’s willingness to move comes after two lacklustre seasons that saw his offensive output drop significantly. Due at least in part to missing 20 games with a knee injury, this season marked his lowest points total since his 2003-04 sophomore year.

Fans also gave him a rough ride during the playoffs when the Sens were overpowered and outplayed by Sidney Crosby and the defending cup champs.

But he wasn’t getting any sympathy from Brian Hall, another fan who was disappointed in his play this year.

“This guy’s been treated well, he didn’t perform in the playoffs when he should have,” he said.

“Is it the city? Is it the team? Or has his ego been bruised?” Hall mused. “If it’s his ego that’s been bruised, I’m sorry. We go to work every day and we get our egos bruised all the time. For the amount of money he makes, seriously. They’re paying him a lot of money to do his job. He’s gotta do it.”

“Trade him,” said Julie Deshaies over a drink at Woody’s on Elgin St. “It would be nice to have new blood in Ottawa.”

“If he says he’s open to a trade it means he’s not happy,” said her friend, Danielle Guay.

Peter Atonitti and David Lauer brushed emotions aside, offering more practical reasons for shipping Spezza out.

“I’d get rid of him just to dump his salary,” Lauer said, adding he’d prefer to get a few good draft picks in a trade. “But the question is who’d be willing to pick it up. In today’s NHL you need cap room.”

Atonitti is a little more ambitious.

“Like any other business, hockey is about winning cups. If you can’t win cups, well then you need to make changes.”

justin.sadler@sunmedia.ca


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