News-Sports.net - Dec 27,2010 - The Ottawa Senators have confirmed an injured right shoulder will sideline top-line center Jason Spezza indefinitely.
Spezza was hurt in Sunday's 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he was hit hard into the boards by the Penguins' Kris Letang at 2:57 of the second period. Spezza was able to get to his skates and leave the ice under his own power, but he headed straight to the dressing room and did not return to the game.
"I'm pretty disappointed. It's unfortunate," Spezza told reporters Monday. "I knew right away, and once I got off the ice I knew something was pretty bad."
Spezza also said he's hoping he won't need surgery and can return sometime this season. Coach Cory Clouston said the team won't know for about a week if Spezza can avoid surgery, and then will be able to place a timeframe for his return.
"There is a big hole there," Clouston said. "We can't expect one guy to go in there and be our No. 1 center. … We just need other guys to step it up. If everyone can raise their play, we can overcompensate for that. You can't expect one guy to go in there and fill his shoes."
The Ottawa Sun is reporting that Zack Smith will be called up from AHL Binghamton to take Spezza's place on the roster. Smith, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound center, has 2 goals in 10 NHL games this season, and 7 goals and 12 points in 22 AHL games with the Binghamton Senators.
Spezza had 2 assists before getting hurt, and he's third on the team with 9 goals, 11 assists and 20 points.