Updated: Tue Jul. 20 2010 4:32:36 PM
The highest paid member of the Ottawa Senators says he's always wanted to stay in Ottawa, despite getting booed by fans during this year's playoff run.
"At no point did I ever demand a trade to Bryan Murray," Spezza told reporters on Tuesday.
"I read the newspapers, and I see every year there's trade talk about me, and I just basically told him (general manager Bryan Murray) that ‘if you want to move me, you can move me.'"
- EXTENDED COVERAGE: Watch as Spezza speaks to reporters in Ottawa
When the playoffs ended, Murray and Spezza discussed his July 1 no-trade clause. Although Spezza said he wanted to stay with the hockey club, he asked Murray to consider what was best for the team, and the city. Murray decided to keep Spezza in Ottawa.
"To be honest, I was happy about it because I like being here in Ottawa, but I also want to be sure that I'm here and what's best for the team," Spezza said.
Over the years, Spezza's name has been linked to trade speculation many times. Now, he wants to put all the trade talk behind him.
"My priorities are here in Ottawa, I want to win in Ottawa. I have great friends here, we have great roots here. My family enjoys it, we're close to home," he said while hosting his own charity golf tournament benefiting the Ottawa Senators Foundation in support of Ronald McDonald House and Roger's House.
"I have a no-trade now. I'm here, I'm committed and I don't plan on talking about this again. This isn't an ongoing thing. I'm focused on winning here now. I'm focused on becoming a better player, and you know it's tough when you lose in the playoffs and a lot of emotions happen and there's a lot said in meetings and I think it just got blown out of proportion a little bit."
Getting booed at home
Spezza most recently came under criticism when fans booed him on home ice after he made errors in the first round of the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sens lost in six games.
"Nobody likes getting booed at home," Spezza said. "You can boo me all you want on the road, but it's not something you like. But you put a lot into your job and you put a lot into hockey and I'm trying every night and I'm trying to become a better player."
Spezza didn't pull a ‘Heatley'
Murray spoke publically about Spezza's future in June, telling reporters the star centre told him he "wouldn't object" to a trade if it happened, fuelling speculation that Spezza was pulling a similar move to Dany Heatley who demanded to be traded out of Ottawa last year.
Spezza's teammates say the two situations are extremely different.
"It's not even close to the Dany situation," said Sens forward Chris Kelly. "Obviously Dany wanted to go play somewhere else and that was his choice. But by no means does Jason want to go play somewhere else. He wants to play here and win here."
Goaltender Pascal Leclair agrees: "I talked to Jason a couple times this summer and he seems happy here and there's no issues and for guys here in the locker room, there's no issue with Jason. He's a great guy; he's a great player; he's a great teammate."
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Talk is cheap.
Bubba Shoots, Spezza scores!
Although I have previously suggested he wasn't worth the money, I think now that trade rumours are over, he will be an asset to the team.
We have the talent, but we will have to build up the momentum. I see a Stanley Cup in our future.
One of the best set-up men in the NHL ... I wouldn't be very pleased to see him leave .. Listen to Alfie or Heatley about their successes, thanks to Jason ... Sure we all want flawless on ice heroics, but it doesn't happen every night ... The Sens would really miss Spezza ...
SRL in Nepean
The boo-birds have given Spezza a bum rap.
He is a good guy and a good player who unfortunately has a blind pass card in his repertoire.
There are other fish to fry.
Whew! An overpaid defensive liability is staying.
Spezza is not the kind of player you build a cup winner around. If your goal is to be a streaky team that finishes between the #5 and 8 spot only to lose in the first round you'd love this guy on your team.
He is here because at his salary he is a bad deal to any team, no one wanted to take him and his entire salary on.
Good to hear that your staying! We are a better team with you in it even though you make thoughs blind passes sometimes give up the puck once or twice a game. Now lets stop talking about him and lets get excited about next season. Go Sens Go!!!!
C'mon give the poor guy a chance! Everyone makes mistakes now and then. He is going to be a huge asset to the Senators, he is young and getting better all the time! Go Sens Go! Stanley is just waiting for us to step it up a bit!!
Hey Spezza you gota hang tough there buddy, remember the fans can't go on the ice and geter done so they need to blame you guys, we know you are only human and mistakes have been made and will again so toughen up your hide for those stupid comments, rise above them and geter done son, as you said you don't want to leave Ottawa and on the whole Ottawa dosen't want you to leave either!
There is a Stanley Cup out there with your/our name on it so why don't you and the team go geter for us and enjoy the trip to get it and brace yourself for the party afterwords.
God bless the team, God bless Ottawa, and watch out Lord Stanley we are coming for your CUP!!!!!
People who boo their own hometeam players are just a bunch of classless rednecks anyway! Glad for the way it turned out.