Yesterday, the Senators’ core that was disguised in Team Canada swag lost the IIHF Gold Medal game to the Russians. Bruce Garrioch had it right when he wrote:
Just finished watching Team Canada lose the gold medal game at the world championships against Russia.
First things first, I am just glad the world championships are over. I mean, can they take any longer?
Nobody really takes a lot of interest in Canada, but we do like when our country competes for a gold medal at any level.
It’s so true. I’m not sure anyone I know could list of the past five championship winners without referencing Google. (And if you can, you’re either named Bob Nicholson or your cubicle rivals your office secretary’s for most tacky, useless swag. While hers might have troll dolls, hunky fireman calendars, or framed photos of distant cousins, yours likely is adorned with eight Canadian flags, an 8×10 photo Lemieux hugging Gretzky from that Canada Cup game in Hamilton and a Steve Yzerman mouse pad.)
Regardless of how Canada doesn’t really give two shakes about the World Championships, Garrioch used the opportunity to raise the question: Has Spezza ever won a championship at any level? I don’t think he ever won world junior gold. I know he hasn’t won a Stanley Cup.
Spezza definitely hasn’t won anything. Although he might have an NHL All-Star Game win under his belt?
However, I’m not sure Bruce is being genuine when he asks this question. I’m pretty sure he knows the answer. The circumstantial “hasn’t won at any level” card has frequently been employed by casual fans to explain why Jason Spezza is a gigantic bag of fecal matter. Listen, Spezza is many things — an overpaid, one-dimensional player who hasn’t consistently demonstrated that he can play a physical, two-way game — but to shit on Spezza because his teams haven’t historically won is awesome.
If Spezza could be half the player Shane Doan was, we’d all be better for it. I mean, as a fanbase, who wouldn’t want to trumpet the successes of a captain who annually misses the NHL playoffs? Similarly, objectively name another member of the Ottawa Senators core who has won something.
Instead of championing Spezza as the goofy, laughing, born-loser maybe we should throw the whole core under the bus. Not for their play but for the fact that the bulk of them are one-dimensional and as overpaid players, eat up the resources that could otherwise be spent on supplementing the roster with productive complimentary players. Or more importantly, how about we stop talking about the World Championships because as Bruce put it, nobody cares.