Some players have changed position on the ice in the National Hockey League and it has been a success. Just look at Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux who was pushed to the wing at the start of the season, and has found success there.
But one player is greatly struggling with his new on-ice surroundings, as Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza is now a centreman-turned-winger. Though the former Ottawa Senator is a proven efficient pivot, he has now been moved to the outskirts of the offensive zone this season, and he is not doing well there.
In 25 games so far this season, Spezza has only recorded three goals and nine points. As Sportsnet notes, "that translates to the worst goals per game and points per game pace of his career, putting him on a path towards a 10-goal, 30-point season. That might not seem too bad for a 34-year-old player in a depth role, but it would surely be a significant step back for Spezza, who’s never finished with fewer than 50 points in a full season."
Now it is well-known that several teams are looking for a top centre to boost their offense. If Spezza's agent can remind rival clubs how talented he is down the middle, these teams, such as the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and even the Senators, could look to acquire Spezza before the trade deadline. Many NHL insiders have reported centres are needed on the market...
Spezza still has one year left on his contract, but if the Stars keep pushing him to the sides, they might be willing to complete a deal, and keep some of his 7.5M salary.
In the meantime, the veteran forward remains open about the challenges, saying to SportsDay’s Mike Heika that "things change. You have to adapt. I’m trying feel comfortable being uncomfortable."
Let's see if a trade could make him feel better...