On Monday, the Dallas Stars began a four-game road trip with Jason Spezza watching from the stands as the centre was made a healthy scratch for the game against the Boston Bruins. The lineup move was head coach Ken Hitchcock’s call, the team announced on social media.
“I think he knows he can be better too and we need more from him,” Stars general manger Jim Nill had said via Scott Burnside. “I think we got a really good thing going here and he’s a big part of it, he’s one of our leaders and we want him at his best.”
Nill added that he expected Spezza to be inserted back into the lineup Tuesday, against the Detroit Red Wings.
And he was.
One day after being a healthy scratch, Spezza returned to action and scored twice as the Stars doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Impressive.
While the Stars are hoping this continues and Spezza can have a late season rebound en route to a playoff run, the veteran centre might be more inclined to prove to rival teams he still has more in the tank. He could be seeking a trade, and putting on the best show to look more attractive to suitors.
Spezza is looking to improve his career low pace, which is concerning considering the 34-year-old center still has two years at $7.5 million per season, along with a no trade clause in his contract. He might have been very picky on where he goes in the past, but could manage to seduce his preferred destinations if he continues to play like he did on Tuesday night.
However moving Spezza would either involve the Stars to pick up a sizable chunk of his deal or else take on an equal or greater high-priced deal in return.
We will have to keep an eye on this - but as of now, Spezza is lighting it up for Dallas after being scratched - which is awesome on its own.