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Bulletin: Senators Re-sign Jason Spezza to 7-Year Deal

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Audio files (mp3 format) from the news conference: Bryan Murray and Jason Spezza (file 1), Murray (file 2) and Spezza (file 3).

OTTAWA – Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray today announced the club has re-signed centre Jason Spezza to a seven-year deal.

Jason Spezza is a great example of what the future holds for the Ottawa Senators and our fans,” said owner Eugene Melnyk. “Without question, Jason belongs here in Ottawa and he continues to be an integral part of our organization’s long-term plans. Over time, we have built an impressive level of on-ice talent, and Bryan Murray and our entire management team have clearly continued that effort with today’s re-signing.”

Spezza, in his fifth year with the Senators, is tied for second in team scoring with linemate Dany Heatley. The 24-year-old has one goal and 12 assists in 10 games, and Heatley has seven goals and six assists in 11 games. Their linemate, captain Daniel Alfredsson, leads the team in scoring with nine goals and as many assists in 11 games.

The Toronto native has a total of 83 goals and 183 assists in 256 regular-season games since suiting up for his first NHL game against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 24, 2002. Spezza had season career highs in assists and points in 2005-06 – 19 goals, 71 assists for 90 points – and reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time in a season with 34 goals in 67 games in 2006-07.

Spezza, drafted second overall by Ottawa in 2001, has been in the Senators’ top four in scoring in each of his last three seasons, and the NHL’s top 15 during the last two.

In playoff action, Spezza has 13 goals, 25 assists for 38 points in 36 games. He was tied for first in team scoring with linemates Alfredsson and Heatley – 22 points – during the Senators’ longest playoff run and first appearance in a Stanley Cup final last spring. The three were also tied for first in scoring in the NHL during the playoffs.

Spezza played two seasons with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. In his rookie 2002-03 season he recorded 22 goals and 33 assists in 43 games with Binghamton. He also played in 2003 AHL All-Star Classic, and was named AHL rookie of the month for January and to the AHL’s 2002-03 all-rookie team.

During the 2004-05 lockout season, he was the first AHL player to reach the 100-point plateau since 2000-01 with his league-leading 32 goals and 85 assists in 80 regular-season games. His 85 assists in a single season were the most in AHL history. Spezza was named a starter at the mid-season AHL all-star game and to the season-ending AHL first all-star team. He also received the Les Cunningham Award as AHL MVP.

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