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Jason Spezza

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Old
06-22-2009, 02:45 PM
  #1
Phuthbert86
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Jason Spezza

I'm not a Senators fan but i do think highly of Jason Spezza. From my limited experience on this site i can guess that at least a few of you think this way to, as i've seen names such as "Spez Dispencer", "Sensational Spezza", etc. He's a hell of a player and a 90 point guy given the right supporting cast.

In his career in Ottawa he's had Alfie, Hossa, Havlat, and Heatley around him. All are quality wingers. Is he this successful in maybe Minnesota or somewhere that'd make him be the focal point of the offense? Can he carry the load by himself? How will the potential loss of Heatley affect his game?

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06-22-2009, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phuthbert86 View Post
I'm not a Senators fan but i do think highly of Jason Spezza. From my limited experience on this site i can guess that at least a few of you think this way to, as i've seen names such as "Spez Dispencer", "Sensational Spezza", etc. He's a hell of a player and a 90 point guy given the right supporting cast.

In his career in Ottawa he's had Alfie, Hossa, Havlat, and Heatley around him. All are quality wingers. Is he this successful in maybe Minnesota or somewhere that'd make him be the focal point of the offense? Can he carry the load by himself? How will the potential loss of Heatley affect his game?
he never had hossa or havlat 'around him'

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06-22-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phuthbert86 View Post
I'm not a Senators fan but i do think highly of Jason Spezza. From my limited experience on this site i can guess that at least a few of you think this way to, as i've seen names such as "Spez Dispencer", "Sensational Spezza", etc. He's a hell of a player and a 90 point guy given the right supporting cast.

In his career in Ottawa he's had Alfie, Hossa, Havlat, and Heatley around him. All are quality wingers. Is he this successful in maybe Minnesota or somewhere that'd make him be the focal point of the offense? Can he carry the load by himself? How will the potential loss of Heatley affect his game?
Not having heatley will be huge. any center who loses a winger with Heatley's scoring ability will see a decline. its all on the Sens management to get him a respectable winger that can score.

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06-22-2009, 03:21 PM
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grabo84
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I think losing Heatley might actually help his game (maybe not his production, depending who replaces him). He spent so much time looking to thread passes to Heatley, I think he has a chance to be a more complete player if he gets out of that trap.

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06-22-2009, 03:25 PM
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He's been doing fine without Heatley on the PP. Who was the other winger on the 1st unit?

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06-22-2009, 03:28 PM
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To be fair, I had the name 504Heater up until two weeks ago.

What Grabo84 posted is pretty much what a lot of us here thing. It's time to get dirty for Spezza, get into the corners and retrieve the puck instead of lazily looking for Heatley and his waving stick.

Spezza is one of the best passers in the game - and I think regardless of what the Sens do, he'll continue to put up a nice set of points for the duration of his career. He can turn 20 goal guys into 30 goal guys and 40 goal guys into 50 goal guys (Heatley). He turned Alfredsson into a 40+ goal guy and demands space when he gains the line.

I love the way things have worked out. I think if you polled people, most would agree that having a number one, play-making center is much, much more important than having a fairly one-dimensional goal scorer.

Spezza can make a goalscorer, whereas, I don't know if Heatley can make a center pass better.

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06-22-2009, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyodor View Post
He's been doing fine without Heatley on the PP. Who was the other winger on the 1st unit?
Foligno? Is that what you meant?

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06-22-2009, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danishh View Post
he never had hossa or havlat 'around him'
he did play with havlat in 2003. Pretty sure on the same line.

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06-22-2009, 03:49 PM
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Yeah, he played with Havlat the season before the lock-out. I think with Smolinski as well. That was the team's third line, but Spezza had 55 points (as a 20 year-old) and Havlat was a 30 goal guy if I recall correctly.

It seems such a distant memory now.


As far as Spezza goes, his combination of size, skill, vision, and scoring touch is pretty unbelievable, to the extent that some might even say he's underperformed thus far in his career (despite some fantastic numbers, like in 2005-2006).

He can take on pretty much any offensive role on a team as a result, because he's definitely got the stuff to be a set-up man (as evidenced by his 71 assists in 68 games in '05-'06) but his hands around the net and shot mean he could also likely take on the role of being a team's leading scorer. He's also made some incredible plays defensively, and IMO despite often making some stupid turn-overs, has a pretty high hockey IQ. That's partially evidenced by the number of take-aways he had last season despite not being the greatest skater.

The skating is where Spezza's game goes downhill and it's been one of the things he's worked the most on in trying to improve. He's at the stage now where his top speed is pretty good, but his acceleration is still a problem. He will often get caught flat-footed on the ice, which limits his impact defensively. Working on his acceleration is a must (and I suspect he does, because he trains pretty hard), but a simpler way to over-come this is just to keep his feet moving at all times, something he hasn't completely learned to do.

The other problem is that he doesn't use his size to his advantage apart from using his long reach. He could stand to be much more aggressive and physical - perhaps not a powerforward, but someone incredibly difficult to knock of the puck below the goal-line, like a Jaromir Jagr. As I said, he's been hitting the gym, the only concern is whether adding extra muscle will hurt his skating, which he can ill-afford.

The impending Heatley trade is monumental in its own right, but the potential impact it may have on Spezza is equally great. With Heatley gone, and Alfredsson aging, this is now a team that will live or die with Spezza. This is a player who was talked about as being "the next one" for the longest time, and now it's time to see whether he can fulfill more of his incredible potential.

If he embraces the challenge of becoming "the guy" on this team, keeps his feet moving and battles harder for the puck and with the puck, there's not much standing in his way of becoming somewhat comparable to a Lecavalier of a year or two ago - with an ultimate upside perhaps similar to Evgeni Malkin's level of play right now (although that's the homer in me talking).

If he doesn't, it may be time to move on.

The only certainty is that I have no interest in moving him this off-season.

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06-22-2009, 04:08 PM
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Barney Gumble
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Who's the Sens #2 center right now? I highly doubt they'd trade a legit #1 center like Spezza - even less likely now that Heatley has made made his feelings known about wanting to be traded.

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06-22-2009, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barney Gumble View Post
Who's the Sens #2 center right now? I highly doubt they'd trade a legit #1 center like Spezza - even less likely now that Heatley has made made his feelings known about wanting to be traded.
Mike Fisher

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06-22-2009, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grabo84 View Post
I think losing Heatley might actually help his game (maybe not his production, depending who replaces him). He spent so much time looking to thread passes to Heatley, I think he has a chance to be a more complete player if he gets out of that trap.
gasp*** I am going to have to agree with a leaf fan here!

Spezza was the set up man for Heatley, however, he could get to 40 goals. He almost had 35 last year. Without heater, the Sens sound get an all round player to play with Spezza, like Cam or Tanguay

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06-22-2009, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praise Alfie View Post
gasp*** I am going to have to agree with a leaf fan here!

Spezza was the set up man for Heatley, however, he could get to 40 goals. He almost had 35 last year. Without heater, the Sens sound get an all round player to play with Spezza, like Cam or Tanguay
cammy and tanguay are far from being complete players.
honestly, if ottawa were to go out and get a guy lombardi or upshall. someone who knows to play both ends of ice, and have offensive upside.

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06-22-2009, 05:30 PM
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He lives four doors down from me!

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06-22-2009, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Praise Alfie View Post
the Sens sound get an all round player to play with Spezza, like Cam
lol.

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06-22-2009, 05:49 PM
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He lives four doors down from me!
Spezza? Throw a street party for him. Get him trashed and then figure out his TRUE feelings about this Heatley situation.

In regards to the topic, I personally believe Spezza will be better off without Heatley and will continue helping to make his linemates better. Spezza's been top 2 in scoring on Ottawa for the last 3 years and has had a 92 point season with Heatley missing 11 games. He's proven he can play without Heatley before and he'll prove it again.

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06-22-2009, 05:52 PM
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Would love to see Spezza in a Kings uniform... Not sure what it would take though

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06-22-2009, 05:58 PM
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Phuthbert86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpezDispenser View Post
To be fair, I had the name 504Heater up until two weeks ago.

What Grabo84 posted is pretty much what a lot of us here thing. It's time to get dirty for Spezza, get into the corners and retrieve the puck instead of lazily looking for Heatley and his waving stick.

Spezza is one of the best passers in the game - and I think regardless of what the Sens do, he'll continue to put up a nice set of points for the duration of his career. He can turn 20 goal guys into 30 goal guys and 40 goal guys into 50 goal guys (Heatley). He turned Alfredsson into a 40+ goal guy and demands space when he gains the line.

I love the way things have worked out. I think if you polled people, most would agree that having a number one, play-making center is much, much more important than having a fairly one-dimensional goal scorer.

Spezza can make a goalscorer, whereas, I don't know if Heatley can make a center pass better.
I would definetly agree with you and pretty much everyone else on here. If he improves his skating and all-around game (getting in the corners, using his size) he could be a 40 goal, 90 point guy IMO. Maybe Heatley's laziness rubbed off on him and now with that influence gone he can be the player we know he can be.

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06-22-2009, 06:04 PM
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4th overall, bryan little

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06-22-2009, 06:44 PM
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Would love to see Spezza in a Kings uniform... Not sure what it would take though
With Heatley wanting out now, the answer is: a lot.

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06-22-2009, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 19Cents View Post
With Heatley wanting out now, the answer is: a lot.
exactly, with heatley gone and alfie getting up there and no forward prospects in our pool, it would take the world to get him.

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06-22-2009, 07:06 PM
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Hale The Villain
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Good to see I am noticed around here

Many considered Spezza as Heatley's set-up man the past couple of years, there's some truth to it. Heatley is known for waving his stick in the air while waiting for one timers, most times he does that when Spezza has the puck.

This season Heatley's goal scoring talent magically disappeared into thin air and about 1/3 way into the season Spezza stopped looking to pass to him when entering the zone, this may be a result of Craig Hartsburg's dump and chase system but later in the year when Clouston was the coach this was clearly visible

That is why Spezza's assists have gone down while his goals have gone up. He is still a top 5 playmaker in the game, it's just he has started shooting more, and who can blame him as he has a wonderful wrist shot.

While most Sens fans agree he had a poor season I beg to differ. His point totals were down, mainly because of Hartsburg butchering the offense and Heatley hitting the goalie's chest 9 times/10. But after watching him since his NHL career has started I can honestly say this past year has been his best. He has taken exceptional strides in his defensive game, almost to the point where he had just as many takeaways as he had giveaways. Being a pass-first kind of guy, that's huge.

I am very excited for Spezza next season, he has been working extremely hard on his skating and mentioned that he will be working harder than ever this off-season. He has all the talent in the world and the sky is the limit for this guy, but unlike a guy like Heatley, he is willing to work to succeed that potential.

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06-22-2009, 07:37 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstad101 View Post
cammy and tanguay are far from being complete players.
honestly, if ottawa were to go out and get a guy lombardi or upshall. someone who knows to play both ends of ice, and have offensive upside.
Actually, I should have been more clear. I am not worried about the defense, since it would not take much to improve on Heatley as far as defense is concerned. What I mean as far as all around player, was a multi dimensional offensive player like Tanguay or Cammilleri. They both can pass and score, and are smart on the offensive zone. Hartnell or Lombardi just don't have enough finish to play with Spezza. If they wanted a 20 goal grinder to play with Spezza they would just throw fisher or Foligno there, and tell either on of them to get used to it. I am sure neither would mind, however it just is not going to help Spezza.

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06-22-2009, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praise Alfie View Post
Actually, I should have been more clear. I am not worried about the defense, since it would not take much to improve on Heatley as far as defense is concerned. What I mean as far as all around player, was a multi dimensional offensive player like Tanguay or Cammilleri. They both can pass and score, and are smart on the offensive zone. Hartnell or Lombardi just don't have enough finish to play with Spezza. If they wanted a 20 goal grinder to play with Spezza they would just throw fisher or Foligno there, and tell either on of them to get used to it. I am sure neither would mind, however it just is not going to help Spezza.
I mean Upshall, not Hartnell of course.

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06-22-2009, 07:53 PM
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