Jason Spezza as Sens' next GM?
Zuma Press  

Jason Spezza as Sens' next GM?

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman drops a bomb!



Yesterday, freshly minted Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer held a very open and frank media availability where he not only announced the resignation of longtime team GM Pierre Dorion, but also went on a bit of a tirade against the NHL for sanctions against his new club.

Andlauer is adamant that the NHL did not disclose its investigation into the team's dealing of forward Evgeni Dadonov and its investigation into Shane Pinto and his illegal gambling allegations. In short, Andlauer didn't know about either investigation and was led to believe that there were no outstanding issues between the team and the league. We now know that the team was under multiple investigations during the time that it was sold to Andlauer and, understandably so, that doesn't sit right with the team's new owner. 

Andlauer make things very clear in his availability yesterday that his priority for the team now is to "calm the waters", as interim GM Steve Staios put it. Andlauer and Staios will now turn their attention from the NHL's head offices, to its own in a search for a long-term GM that can bring back stability to the franchise.

Former NHL GM and longtime NHL executive Peter Chiarelli has been mentioned as a possibility, with several insiders dropping his name in rumor reports. There's also Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Mathieu Darche, who has long been tabbed as the NHL's next wiz kid. To me though, the most interesting name in the rumor mill is former Sens captain Jason Spezza.

In his latest 32 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Spezza could be a consideration for the role, along with others.

From Friedman:

There’s been a lot of talk about Peter Chiarelli, but another name I’d throw in there is Tampa Bay director of hockey operations Mathieu Darche. Darche interviewed in Montreal while Andlauer still owned part of the Canadiens, so there is familiarity. Another person suggested Jason Spezza. Teams with legit candidates aren’t always willing to give them up in-season. It will be up to Staios, but another possibility is the organization adding a “veteran hockey presence” in a non-GM role. There is going to be a ton of interest, despite the loss of this draft choice. Team is on the way up, Dorion left them far from barren.

- Elliotte Friedman

Spezza, of course, is GM Kyle Dubas' assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins, after having held the same role with the Toronto Maple Leafs following his retirement from play last year.

I don't know if Spezza is the right man for the job given that he only has a season's worth of experience under his belt, but he'd certainly be a popular hire amongst the team's fanbase. Personally, I think the team will go with a more experienced hire though, after all their entire focus is to restore stability and you typically don't do that with a rookie hiring. Stay tuned.

Source: Elliotte Friedman