Heralded as the long-awaited triggerman to join Andrei Markov
on the Habs’ power-play when he signed his three-year deal with the Canadiens last summer, Spacek’s job description ended up changing in a hurry. Markov going down with an injury in the opening game of the season made sure of that. Instead of simply padding his stats and lending a helping hand with the man advantage as expected, he joined forces with the rest of the Montreal blue-line to keep the team’s defense afloat during the Russian All-Star’s three-month absence.
A 12-year NHL veteran who has suited up for the Panthers, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Oilers and Sabres, Spacek was a stabilizing force for the Habs all season long. While his 21 points were below his career average, the 36-year-old still posted a plus-9 rating, second highest on the team behind only Markov.
If it took a little bit of time for the grizzled blue-liner to hit his stride on the ice with his new team, that certainly wasn’t the case in the dressing room. The affable, fun-loving Czech – who is sorely missed by the Sabres and likely every other team he’s ever played on – was an immediate hit with his new teammates.
The way things are shaping up, he may also be doing more smiling on
the ice in 2010-11. With Markov slated to return from knee surgery sooner than originally thought and impact rookie P.K. Subban
added to the mix this season, Spacek will be looking to do what he often has in the second year of any of his NHL stints – bump up his point totals.
In his second year with Florida, he posted a 21-point increase, to go with a 27-point jump in his second season in Columbus and an 11-point spike in his sophomore season in Buffalo.
As for what Year 2 in Montreal has in store for him, Spacek is hoping he has more second-year magic up his sleeve this time around. Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com.READ ALSOFive players released from training camp Training camp - Day 4 Training camp - Day 3 Training camp - Day 2 Teams - Training camp