My first thought, upon hearing Jason Spezza had signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension, was, wow, that’s a lot of money for a one-goal scorer.
The reality is, the Senators have hitched their wagon to two of the league’s premiere players in Spezza and Dany Heatley, and if there’s enough money left over to supply them with supplemental talent, Ottawa should be competitive for a long time to come.
The NHL’s 15th highest scorer last year, with 34 goals and 87 points in just 67 games, Spezza is a player that is still getting better.
Much like Steve Yzerman before him, Spezza is a naturally gifted offensive star whose overall game improved when he introduced himself to the defensive side of the puck.
The 24-year-old center was one of three Senators who tied for the playoff scoring lead with 22 points, yet there is no doubt he can still get better.
His play in the Stanley Cup final, the most critical time of the season, was not up to par.
That said, there is no doubt he will provide the Senators with offense and leadership for years to come.