Maybe I’m a bit guilty of giving Jason Spezza too much credit. But the fact is, I like him as a hockey player, and he seems like a genuinely good person. I mean, night after night, despite how the game went, he can be counted on to face the cameras. And yes, sometimes he giggles at bad times, and yes it can sometimes seem like he doesn’t care, but the man is being paid to play his favourite game. You’d probably be smiling too.
So I felt a bit slighted on behalf of Jason Spezza when he wasn’t named to the invitation camp for Team Canada. Now a lot of players weren’t invited, and some players were who won’t likely make the team (I’m looking at you Milan Lucic), so it can’t be all bad. And there is a very serious likelihood that Spezza can probably play himself onto the team. The retirement of Joe Sakic has likely opened the door for that as well. But yet there’s still a debate over who should go.
So I present to you, Part 7 in the widely popular What Would You Do series, Jason Spezza vs. Marc Savard.
Jason Spezza age: 26 years old, will be 27 years old for the Olympics.
Marc Savard age: 31 years old, will be 32 years old for the Olympics.
Now Spezza will probably have another chance to make the 2014 games, while Marc Savard likely won’t. But is that a good enough reason to not let youth win here? By giving Spezza a chance now, you also guarantee some experience on the 2014 squad as well. I’m going to have to go with Spezza here.
Jason Spezza size: 6’3, 216 lbs
Marc Savard size: 5’10, 191 lbs
Again, I’m going to have to go with Spezza here. The size is going to be a big factor on the smaller ice surface in Vancouver. Maybe Canada went too big in 2006, but I don’t think it will be as much of a factor in 2010. Plus, we’re not talking about a slow player in Jason Spezza. He has soft hands and can find space on the ice very well. 2 points for Spezza.
Jason Spezza International Appearances: 3 National Junior Team appearances, 2 National Team appearances
Marc Savard International Appearances: 0
Again, this doesn’t say much other than Spezza just has more experience on the international stage and representing Canada. I’m not saying that Savard would be a bad candidate for the Canadian team, but you have to think that those 5 appearances have given Spezza some upper hand here.
Jason Spezza 2008/09 Point Totals: 82 GP, 32 G, 41 A, 73 pts
Marc Savard 2008/09 Point Totals: 82 GP, 25 G, 63 A, 88 pts
Savard has been no slouch in the point total department, and last year was no different. While Spezza had an off year by his usual standards, Savard was quietly showing the skill he displayed in his days in Atlanta and Boston when he posted point totals of 97 and 96, respectively. Spezza has never broken the 100 point barrier himself, but at 26, will have more opportunity to do it. Give this one to Savard, with honourable mention to Spezza.
Spezza brings some added size, international experience and youth to the Canadian Olympic Team. While neither were invited to camp, I would have to think that Hockey Canada should be looking closer at Jason Spezza, rather than Marc Savard. Both players, ironically enough, have shown they can dish the puck well to Dany Heatley, so that argument should go out the window. Rather, Hockey Canada should go with Spezza and show the world that we are not just thinking about 2010, but 2014 as well.
Stay Classy, Marc Savard.