The Ottawa Senators announced Monday that center Jason Spezza would not travel with the team for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, instead remaining in Ottawa ton continue his rehabilitation from back surgery.
Spezza had surgery Feb. 1 to repair a herniated disc. On May 10 he began skating with the team's "black aces," its extra players, with the hope he could return to the team at some point in the series.
In five games this season, Spezza had two goals and three assists. His last game was Jan. 27.
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.
— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday