The cone of silence in the organization surrounding Jason Spezza's condition was lifted this morning.
Bryan Murray announced that Spezza is scheduled to have surgery Friday to repair a herniated disc. Murray was hopeful it wouldn't be the end of his season and that Jason could return late in the regular season, or for the playoffs.
It should be noted, Spezza underwent surgery for a herniated disc once before in 2006.
Post -surgery at that time, this is what he had to say:
"I think I can make big strides this summer, but I can do nothing for the next couple weeks, I can't lift (weights) for four weeks. It's not going to be much of a summer, really. Just rehab."
At this point you just to have to hope the surgery goes smoothly, and that an 8-week rehab timetable is realistic. As was noted on the broadcast Tuesday, the Senators record sans Spezza in recent years isn't exactly fantastic. Although a good number of those losses came prior to the Turris acquisition.
This is going to be interesting...no comments
The Senators and Tom Chorske use to employ a Buddha for luck. Tonight, the Sens just need a Budaj.
On the power play, Mika Zibanejad scored his first career NHL goal -- with assists to Colin Greening and Andre Benoit -- at 9:25 of the second period to give the Senators a 3-1 lead. Colin Greening was the one to grab the puck as a souvenir, it's the best instance of puck retrieval for Greening this season.
Jason Spezza is still being evaluated by doctors and will not play tonight vs MTL.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) January 30, 2013
No one is saying explicitly what's going on with Spezza and the "upper-body injury" which has kept him off the ice since Sunday. But when Jason was spotted yesterday en route to Toronto purportedly to see a specialist, well conclusions will be jumped to...
asdfa @ian_mendes saw Spezza at the Ottawa airport earlier - heading to TO for a consult?— Tim MacKinnon (@tmackinn) January 29, 2013
And the question will be asked, as Ken Warren did on SenatorsExtra:
"Could it be a return of the back problems Spezza has experienced in the past?"
It should be noted as well that Bob McKenzie sounded this cryptic note to Team1200 last night during the pre-game show:
"But Jason Spezza comes up today with the old injury, and won't play tonight as I understand it."
A semi-update from MacLean came this afternoon:
"We're waiting on the evaluation. We don't know," said MacLean when asked if Spezza will be out for extended period. #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) January 30, 2013
Let's hope it's not the latter.no comments
Friend of the blog and Senators prospect Mikael Wikstrand is right in the middle of a very succesful SEL-2 campaign for his Mora. The 2012 7th rounder has put up 11 goals and 11 assists in 36 games, and enjoyed a fairly successful World Juniors campaign as well, which really sparked interest from SEL clubs, one tier above the club he grew up playing for.
So what did Wikstrand choose? After going on a Fabian Brunnström-like tour, visiting with the interested clubs, would he go to Swedish giant Färjestad to go back to his hometown? Perhaps the NHL factory up in Örnsköldsvik to play for Modo? Join his WJC coach Roger Rönnberg as he’s set to take over Frölunda?
Nope. On Tuesday, Mora announced that they’ve been able to extend Wikstrand’s contract for another year. After being chased by basically the entire SEL, this is a very surprising move. One would think, that after the success he’s had at the second tier of Swedish hockey, he would want to take another step upwards in his development. Granted, Mora are still in the race for a promotion to the SEL, as they currently hold the seventh spot in the league, the last spot to be in the knockout round where the winner gets to join the top-3 teams of the SEL-2 in a playoff league versus the worst two teams of the SEL.
While we shouldn’t neglect Wikstrand’s own feelings about this decision, he obviously got what he wanted here and surely developing where he’s comfortable and with family close by can’t be all that bad, one has got to wonder what the Senators thought about this decision. Luckily, some very strong hints were revealed by Wikstrand himself in an interview with HockeySverige today:
"Ottawa said it was up to me, but at the same time they obviously wanted me in the SEL, I know what I can get here in Mora. Lots of time on the power play and the kill and the time to develop my game."
SEL-2 is not a terrible league, by any means, but it’s very rare that players go right from it to the NHL. Patrik Berglund did that a few years back, as did Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Others, who have opted to stay with their SEL-2 team instead of adding increased competition, like Flames’ Mikael Backlund, have required some transition time. Wikstrand goes on to further justify this decision to remain at a lower level:
"There were lots of clubs calling, actually, but I felt that I wouldn’t get as much ice-time there for next year that I would here. With Mora I can play the 25-30 minutes per game that I need. I like to play that much and that’s why it felt right to stay here another year. Ottawa obviously wanted me in the SEL but also said that I got to make my own decision if that felt right."
Should the Senators want to sign Wikstrand to an NHL contract, even just to avoid a Tim Erixon bailout, they are free to do so until June this year. Wikstrand’s rights expire in June 2014.
I should say this really came as a big surprise to everyone over here, since he’s been one of the hottest commodities after his strong start with Mora, and elevating that with the exposure of a solid World Juniors tournament in Ufa. For him to make a kind of lateral non-move like this is a little bit disappointing. Not that it won’t develop him, but it would’ve been nice to watch him try to take another step up in competition. If no team could promise him power play time, however, this is a more understandable decision. We’ve seen many careers stagnate because of lack of special teams time. I suspect the Sens will lock him up on a contract this summer, have him over for development camp and then let him stay in Sweden for another year before deciding if they should bring him over to Binghamton for his first year of the contract or if he’s better off taking that step up to the SEL with another SEL-2 season under his belt.
After two consecutive losses, Senators head coach Paul MacLean joined Team 1200's In the Box yesterday morning. The 'Stache hits on a number of important topics including Craig Anderson's play, his trepidation in dressing Borowiecki and Wiercioch in the same lineup and the ol' three-legged stool.
Like in any other interview, MacLean touched on a few things that I did not bother to include in this post, so if you wish to listen to the full interview, you can do so here, or via streaming the embedded audio below.
As always, my thoughtsare in bold.no comments
Yesterday the Senators announced a Mika Zibanejad recall from Binghamton.
At first glance, the news is surprising in the sense that when looking at his cumulative body of work this season; injuries and inconsistent production have plagued the young Swedish center. In fact, they contributed to why the Senators did not extend him an invitation to their abbreviated training camp.
So although he only has four goals and eleven points in 23 games, since returning to the Binghamton lineup on January 12th, he has three goals, four points, 26 shots, and is a +6 in seven games.
Is this recent stretch of good play indicative of just how important the organization views points in this 48-game schedule?
It sure seems that way.no comments