Hockey

Tim Wharnsby - Thursday Oct. 24, 2013 16:16 ET

Jason Spezza feels he belongs in Canada's Olympic discussion

'I didn't get invited to the summer camp, but I felt like I belonged in that group'

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Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza states his case for being on Canada's Olympic team. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Jason Spezza has tried to downplay the fact he wasn’t invited to the Canadian Olympic team’s orientation in camp last August.

The talented Ottawa Senators talented claims his primary focus this season has been a return to form after back surgery last February and his duties as a first-time captain in the NHL. 

He was given the Senators top leadership after the departure of the popular Daniel Alfredsson to the Detroit Red Wings last summer.

Well, it has been difficult to ignore Spezza’s start this season. 

He has seven goals in eight games, including a pair against Canadian Olympic team head coach Mike Babcock, Alfredsson and the Red Wings in a dominant 6-1 win in Detroit on Wednesday evening.

“All I can do is try to play well,” Spezza told the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch after practice on Thursday. 

“I don’t know where I stand with them. I’d like love the chance to play for my country again. I didn’t get invited to the summer camp, but I felt like I belonged in that group and can at least get involved in the talks.

“It’s a tough spot because it’s a long shot for me to make that team. But I think that I can do a good job of getting involved in the conversation, trying to play well. It doesn’t hurt to have motivation. How realistic it is that I could make that team or not, I’m going to use it as motivation to prove to people that I belong in a group like that.”

Did Spezza try to send a message to Babcock?

“I don’t know about that. Like I said, I’m not too worried about that, but I want to show that I can play and play well,” said Spezza, who will be back in Detroit for another game against the Red Wings on Nov. 23 and then for a return game on Dec. 1 in Alfredsson’s first game back in Ottawa.

“I want to play well whenever we play them.”

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