"Nah Sergei, Switzerland is more my style than Russia, but you have a good time there!"
Now that we are settling in to this lockout
depression mode, it is hard to think or write about anything else.
With yesterday's big news that Senators star centre Jason Spezza is heading to the Swiss league to ply his trade during the lockout, I cannot help but be a little anxious.
Jason is coming off a year where he was the major reason the Senators made the playoffs. Yes, Erik Karlsson was a huge factor, but in watching videos compiling highlights of Erik's points from last season, you see a few times where Erik gives the puck to Jason, and Jason made things happen. It is no coincidence that rookie Colin Greening had almost 20 goals and that Milan Michalek was able to get 35 goals last season. Jason Spezza was back to being a dominant offensive force in the Eastern Conference.
A huge part of that was that was his ability to stay healthy for the full season. After playing back to back seasons under 60 games, Jason was able to put together an 80 game season, and was not hindered by the bad back that has plagued him in recent years.
Now I wouldn't suggest that Spezza is Injury Prone but with a history of back problems, I do worry about him going and playing for a team that doesn't have a man in a funny hat on the front. What would happen to the Senators if we lost this season, Daniel Alfredsson retired and Jason Spezza started having back problems again while playing in a place where there are no Ottawa Senator training personnel?
In the end I guess we just have to cross our fingers and hope he is alright. Besides, can't blame a guy for wanting to keep himself in shape and experience living in beautiful Switzerland.
Links after the jump.
- Here is the Scanlan story on Spezza's decision to head to Europe, complete with some Spezza quotes. [SensExtra]
- Nichols with a story about how the average run of the mill, middle of the road NHLer like Kyle Turris doesn't have the option to go away to Europe like Jason Spezza does and doesn't have the option of going to Binghamton like Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg. [6thSens]
- Scanlan gets nostalgic and wonders if the last NHL lockout cost the Ottawa Senators their best shot at a Stanley Cup. [Scanlan]
- Nichols with a story that highlights the 5 Senators prospects that made the Hockey Prospectus top 100 list. [6thSens]