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06.06.2018 09:00
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Jason Spezza has heard the whispers that maybe being the captain of the Ottawa Senators wasnt the best thing for his career. Stephen Johns Jersey . That perhaps the added pressure of wearing the "C" made him a bigger target for criticism with the fans and media in this city and ultimately served as the catalyst for his departure from town. But on Friday afternoon – doing his first extensive interview since the trade to Dallas in July – the star centre said the captaincy did not play a role in his decision to ask for a trade. "I think its bogus. To me, I think if anything, having the C made me think even harder about wanting to stay, because I didnt want to seem like I was running away from being a captain," Spezza told TSN 1200 on Friday. "I think anybody thats been around the rink, anybody that knows me, anybody thats been on the team, knows that... I think I come by leadership honestly. I think Im a guy that Ive always taken things pretty hard when the team struggles." "Ive looked at myself as being one of and a leader on that team for a long time. So, the C, obviously with Alfie leaving and me taking over the C and now me moving on, its not something that can be ignored. But, the reason for me wanting out isnt because I got named captain and we had a bad season. Its just because I felt like it was time." Spezza wont be back in Ottawa again until the Dallas Stars pay a visit to Canadian Tire Centre on January 29th. His Ottawa house is up for sale and the family packed up their belongings a few weeks ago – ready for a fresh start in Dallas. He was only in Ottawa for a few days after the trade was engineered on July 1st and says that it was strange for him to be in the nations capital and not be a member of the Senators. "It was eerie going back there a little bit this summer, but I knew what I was getting into," Spezza explained. "I knew that I had asked to be moved, and its not something that I woke up one day and thought that I needed a change of scenery. Its something that I thought out, and I feel like as tough as it is to move on - it probably wouldve been the easier thing, just to re-sign and stay there, but Im ready for a challenge, and I expect a lot from myself and I think Ive got a lot of great years left." After the Senators missed the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, there were rumblings that Spezza was on the trade market. General manager Bryan Murray confirmed that Spezza and his agent Rick Curran had requested a trade in May, which created a ton of media interest leading up to the NHL Draft weekend at the end up of June. Spezza declined an opportunity to head to Nashville in a trade and says he wanted to end up in Dallas. He wishes the entire episode was kept quiet, but he harbors no ill feelings towards Murray or the Senators organization for the fact the trade request became public. "I think obviously the goal of mine was to kind of get traded without the hoopla around it and all the conversation that went around it. The reality of it is, that was never going to happen," Spezza said. "So I just tried to stay quiet, and I talked to Bryan a few times throughout the process. I have a lot of respect for Bryan, I think he has a lot of respect for me, and unfortunately, things get kind of dragged out through the papers and the media and sometimes things get skewed, but thats the nature of the game and it was my decision to ask him to move me and I had to live with the consequences. But, Im happy with the end result." Spezza had an injury-plagued 2013-14 campaign, recovering from major back surgery in February of 2013 and then dealing with hip and groin issues in the fall. He ended up leading all forwards on the team with 66 points in 75 games – but the writing appeared to be on the wall that Spezzas time in Ottawa was done as the regular season came to a close. The 31-year-old says he wasnt counting down the final games of the regular season as the end of his tenure in Ottawa. "I dont think I ever looked at those last games as my last game as a Senator. I did have a year left on my contract and I wouldve been able to play that year out and go from there, but I think that the move was beneficial to both sides," Spezza added. "I just felt that I think it was time for me to move on. I think that the organization was going through a different period, probably a little bit more of a rebuild, and going with a different approach." "So for me, I felt that at the place of my career where Im at, that I wanted to move on somewhere else and get a fresh start for myself, and also it allowed the team to grow and be a younger team. So, but I think that I knew it was time to move on, and I think they knew the same thing." Spezza ended up serving as team captain for only one season, replacing longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson who served in that role for 13 seasons. When asked who would be a logical candidate to assume the captaincy with the Senators next season, Spezza was hesitant to pick a new leader. "I have to think, I have to be careful how much I weigh into the captaincy of my former team. I have a lot of good friends there. Chris Phillips is definitely the most mature guy - one of the most mature people Ive been around I think in my career, and just somebody you can always lean on," Spezza explained. "So, if Erik becomes captain, if Philly becomes captain, if someone else becomes captain, theyll have each other to lean on. And I think that a guy like Erik Karlsson - the confidence he gives and the confidence he portrays is obviously something that shows on the ice and can be a positive for the team." "But, I dont think its my position to weigh in on whos going to be captain. But theres a solid group of guys there. They get along well, and they should be able to help each other out." Tyler Pitlick Jersey . Redden played a total of 1,023 regular-season games with Ottawa, the New York Rangers, St. Louis and Boston. He finished with 457 points (109 goals, 348 assists) and a plus-160 rating over his career. Valeri Nichushkin Jersey .com) - Theres nothing better for a team than to send out the staff ace in the most important game of the season. . The result was a game-winning, power-play goal. Chiasson snapped a third-period tie and lifted the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory on Monday night.The Ottawa SenatorsThe Sens had a golden opportunity to win the cup in 2007. After beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres all in five games, the Senators would square off in the Cup Final against the Anaheim Ducks. It was a great time for the city of Ottawa as it was their first time being in the Cup final since 1927. Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson carried the Sens throughout the playoffs, along with the goaltending of Ray Emery.The Sens could not handle the Ducks in the Cup final though, who had forwards like Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne. The Ducks also had a solid shutdown line, a lethal defence duo of Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, and a world class goalie in Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The Sens would lose to the Ducks in five games which would conclude their best run at the cup since the Habs won in 1993.Watch a tribute to their run here.Toronto Maple LeafsYes, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had a solid playoff run since the Habs won in 1993, and it almost got them in the Cup Final. The year was 2002 and the Leafs defeated the Islannders and the Senators in the opening rounds. Jaromir Jagr Jersey. They would play the Conference Final against a team that they matched up pretty well against, the Carolina Hurricanes. The Leafs had an incredible goaltender in Curtis Joseph, and classic players like Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts and Darcy Tucker. Sundin and Tucker actually missed most of the first two rounds with injuries, so when they returned in the Eastern Conference Final, most Toronto fans were predicting their team would finally play for the Cup for the first time since 1967.The Leafs seemed to run out of gas and couldnt handle the Hurricanes, who got great goaltending from Arturs Irbe, and tons of production out of forwards like Rod BrindAmour, Erik Cole, and Jeff ONeill. The Leafs would lose in dramatic fashion at home in Game 6 in overtime. Sundin tied the game with the goalie pulled before the eventual season-ending goal by the Hurricanes. Check out Sundins game-tying goal which would highlight the Leafs 2002 run.So fans, who in the East has the best shot at being the next Canadian team to win a cup? 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