The Ottawa Senators have traded forward Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Alex Chiasson, Nicholas Paul and Alexander Guptill along with a second round pick for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
The move was the capper on a busy day for the Stars, who also inked Ales Hemsky to a three year contract on what was a frenetic Canada Day in the National Hockey League. Dallas also signed goalie Anders Lindback and forward Patrick Eaves to one year contracts.
For the Stars, picking up Spezza and Hemsky is a big deal. The two played together in Ottawa last season and Hemsky had 17 points in 20 games with the Senators.
“I talked with Dallas even before Jason got traded, but I talked to Jason a lot the last couple weeks,” Hemsky said. “I talked to him about that and asked him about his options. I didn’t know he was going to get traded there or [if] he would go somewhere else. It wasn’t a huge factor because they told me I could play with a lot of good players, but now it’s even better that Jason got traded there, so I’m very happy about that.”
Spezza had to waive his no trade clause to go to Dallas, something he had little trouble doing after asking for a trade out of Ottawa on June 11. Senators general manager Bryan Murray had a deal in place last week with the Nashville Predators, but Spezza refused to budge on it.
The new Star has a year left on his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-2015 season. He has not had any long-term contract discussions with Dallas as of yet.
“I think that I want to go there, just establish myself and play and show them how much I can contribute and just help the hockey team win,” Spezza said. “The contract stuff always takes care of itself. If it’s a fit for the team and it’s a fit for me, then we move forward with that, but it’s not a focus at all.”
In ditching Spezza, the Senators pick up in the neighbourhood of $6.1 million in cap space. Chiasson is still on an entry level deal and Paul and Guptill likely won’t see time on the main roster.