Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray doesn't expect forward Jason Spezza back during the final month of the regular season, according to a report by NHL Network insider Chris Johnston.
Spezza hasn't played since Jan. 27 due to a back injury that required surgery. The forward had a point in all five games he played this season, posting two goals and three assists, and was the Senators' leading goal-scorer last season with 34.
The good news for the Senators is they're in strong position to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs even without Spezza, defenseman Erik Karlsson and several other regulars. They enter the weekend fifth in the Eastern Conference with 44 points.
I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.
— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie