Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jason Spezza Enjoying Dallas Quietude
Jason Spezza has liked what he's seen in Dallas so far, including the fact that he can go unseen for a while. Linkage: Brett Hull's awesome prank, Cody Eakin talks about things again, and Martin St. Louis is ready to be the center of attention again.
This summer, much like last summer, Jim Nill sent a package of young players to an Eastern Conference team for a second-overall draft pick that was on his way out of town. The impetus for the departure was different in each case, but the elation of the destination town was incredible both times. Seguin came in with questions about his character, discipline and ability of him or his friends to use Twitter without ruining their reputation, and he has answered all of those questions with tons of goals, charity work, and being Tyler Seguin.
Jason Spezza also arrived in Dallas, but with a very different set of questions accompanying him. Those inquiries have revolved around things like the state of his "wonky" back, the effects of age on his once-elite play, and the possibility of an extension that the Stars were known to be pursuing almost from the moment Spezza arrived in town.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun had an article about Spezza earlier this week, and he addressed one of those questions in a little more depth than we've seen recently:
The Stars intend on having Spezza hang around longer than one season.
"They've expressed that they want to talk [extension]," Spezza said. "And we have all intentions of talking. But it's just I want to get comfortable first, and get started. It's really not a big concern of mine right now. I'm not naive, I know as the season goes on it'll become more of a talking point. But at this point, I'm just worried about playing and getting comfortable. If we start winning games, it's going to be a good fit for both sides. It's just a matter of getting comfortable first. There's no point in rushing into anything."
While it would be nice if we could legitimately interpret this as Spezza saying he'll re-up if the Stars go 20-3-0 to start the season, odds are that the 31-year-old center is simply trying to be prudent. He knows that the leverage for an extension lies with Dallas right now, as he has not yet proven anything to them. This is assuming that preseason games do not count, but oh goodness, if they did. Spezza would probably be wise to see how he enjoys the routine of living/working/playing in Dallas before committing to it long-term, as much as that might annoy us.
After all, what if Lindy Ruff starts forcing players to eat Lucky Twix Ice Cream Bars at intermission during losing streaks? What if Victor E. Green secretly subscribes players to weirdly-specific dating websites with their personal email address? These are things he would probably like to know before promising to stay in Dallas long term. Hey, after playing in Ottawa, I can understand being a little shy.
The good news, though--and we will operate on the assumption that having Spezza around for another 3-5 years would, in fact, be that--is that he seems to be warming to the area:
"I say it's been a pretty smooth transition, although it's my wife that's done most of the work," Spezza, 31, said with a chuckle. "We're settled. The kids are in school. Everyone is getting comfortable."
After years in the spotlight in hockey-crazed Ottawa, it's clear that Spezza appreciates the quiet life he's entering.
"It's been nice to come to the rink and work and nobody knows me here," he said. "It's been nice that way. We've enjoyed it."
Don't get him wrong -- he would never take back his years in Ottawa. But the time was right for a move.
"Ottawa is a great place to play, I really enjoyed playing in Canada and the scrutiny that came with it," Spezza said. "But you almost don't realize how much you go through day to day until you get away from it. You realize how much more laid-back it can be in another setting. I wouldn't change it, but I'm welcoming the change right now."
Anonymity during the boring times at work is really a gift for most people. Would you like it if you had to share your computer screen with thousands of people each day as you moved figures from one place to another, as you received and replied to emails aplenty, constantly reading things questioning your decision making on that reply to Barb in AP last week? No, you would not. Most of us find a lot of contentment in knowing when we're going to be performing for a larger audience, when we need to prepare for a presentation.
Spezza, father of three children under the age of five, is finding just that sort of contentment that comes from doing your job well without everyone making a huge deal about it. He feels capable of meeting even optimistic expectations for his work performance, and we are going to try to be relatively patient as he begins this effort. While players can and do move around multiple times in a short span of time when it comes to deciding between multiple offers of millions of dollars, fans hoping for an extension can perhaps take some hope from the fact that Dallas is treating Spezza pretty well so far.
Happiness (on both sides) usually depends on production, but if the former Senators captain can continue to flash the skills we've seen since the beginning of training camp, good to great output for a second line shouldn't be an issue. And if Spezza feels appreciated and the Stars are satisfied with what they see, don't be surprised if the former Ottawa captain ends up settling down in Dallas for another few years.
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Friday links are free, one time only.
Andy Moog + Jack Campbell = very yes. [Instagram]
Cody Eakin is glad to be back Read about him talking. [DMN]
Cody Eakin is really glad to be back. Watch him skate. [Stars]
The Sporting News likes the Dallas approach to memes. Who doesn't? Lots of people, probably, but who cares about those people? You should. People are all amazing. [Sporting News]
The Hart Trophy could wind up in Seguin's hands as well this year, according to The Hockey News. Benn could have something to say about that as well, like, "Cool, man." [THN]
The Hockey Writers look at the still Norris-less Shea Weber. He is big and beardy, though. That should count for something. [THW]
Max Domi was kicked out of Phoenix, as the 2013 first round pick was sent back to his junior club. Julius Honka smirks, somewhere. [Pro Hockey Talk]
After being rejected like a junior to the senior prom by the new Isles ownership group, Andrew Barroway is looking to take Phoenix by storm. Or at least 51% of it. [New York Post]
Stephane Robidas is going to play in Toronto's season opener. I am glad. You should be, too. [Pro Hockey Talk]
Happy times in Ottawa, as Erik Karlsson was named captain. His first act as captain was to applaud the new seven-year Bobby Ryan deal. Ottawa could actually be starting something good for more than a season! [CBC]
Martin St. Louis will give center a shot in lieu of Derek Stepan. Not sure how well that will work out, but I'm glad he's happy about it. If Marty ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. [The Journal News]
Claude Julien is happy about the new diving punishments. Claude Julien may not always tell the truth. Why do I say that? Well... [CSN New England]
Hey, where'd this video come from? Weird.