So the question is: Is Jason Spezza Hall of Fame Worthy?
Spezza was a flashy, talented stickhandler and playmaker who excelled at shielding the puck thanks to his large frame and big wingspan. He was playmaker first and foremost, despite a heavy and accurate shot. He had soft hands when it came to setting up teammates for beautiful goals. He was a conscientious defensive player, as long as he kept his feet moving. He was an excellent faceoff man and a rangy skater who could surprise defenders with an unexpected quickness given his size. He had zero temperament needed to be truly physically assertive, which is detractors pointed out.
Spezza was a consistent scoring threat in Ottawa, especially early in his career, but his best season was likely 2011-12. Rejuvenated under new coach Paul MacLean, Spezza tied a career high with 34 goals and added 50 assists for 84 points. As a younger player he had three seasons with more points where he showed promise of becoming a super star, but his 2012 season saw him finish 4th in the league in scoring and 6th in the league in Hart Trophy voting as NHL MVP.
That was the closest Spezza ever got to winning a major award. The closest he came to winning the Stanley Cup was in 2007 when Ottawa fell to Anaheim in the Final. Spezza, along with teammates Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, shared the playoff scoring lead with 22 points, but it was not quite enough to beat the Ducks.
Alfredsson is entering the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2022. Could Spezza join him in 2025, when he becomes eligible?| It's certainly possible, though like Alfie I suspect Spezza would have to wait a few years. He was a key piece in a Canadian market, and super likeable guy, which doesn't hurt his chances by any means. And, as always, the Hockey Hall of Fame has created a problem of letting in a few too many "very good" forwards as opposed to the truly elite.
I think Spezza fits in the very good category and I'm okay if Spezza has to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame the same way I have to - by buying a ticket. As much as I liked Spezza, he comes up short of truly being one of hockey's all time greats.