Jan 19, 2013; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza (19) during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Jason Spezza Out Indefinitely, To Undergo Back Surgery; Senators Depth To Be Tested

The Ottawa Senators have unprecedented depth up the middle on their roster.  That depth will be put to the test for the coming weeks and maybe months as their #1 centre, Jason Spezza, has elected to undergo surgery on his back.  He has a history of back trouble, and this injury is concerning for the present and the future of one of the game’s top offensive players.

The official announcement will come at 11:00 this morning, but you don’t call a press conference to say that your star is doing some physio to help the ailment.  Rumours circulating have the injury lasting anywhere from 2-4 weeks or even the entire season.

UPDATE: SURGERY FOR A HERNIATED DISC TO BE PERFORMED ON FRIDAY, NO TIMETABLE FOR A RETURN.  MURRAY IS HOPEFUL FOR A RETURN BEFORE OR DURING THE PLAYOFFS.

While we wish Jason Spezza a speedy recovery and return to action, we turn our attention to the replacements.

Kyle Turris becomes the #1 option, and he will likely stick with Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson.  The door is wide open for Mika Zibanejad to step in as the #2 centre, Zack Smith can remain the #3 and Jim O’Brien the #4.  Zibanejad has impressed in his two games, and his emergence takes the news of Spezza’s injury from disastrous and possibly season-upending for the Senators, to merelyrequiring a shifting of roles.

The Senators have won the two games that Spezza has missed prior to today’s announcement.  That is a good sign going forward, but there will be games that come along where he will definitely be missed for his offensive production, faceoff ability and leadership.

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Tags: Jason Spezza Kyle Turris Mika Zibanejad

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