NHL free agency begins Tuesday at noon ET, but a blockbuster trade was the day’s first big move.
The Ottawa Senators traded center Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday morning, according to multiple reports. The Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika reported that Alex Chiasson, Nick Paul, Alex Guptill and a 2015 second-round draft pick will head to Ottawa in exchange for Spezza and Ludvig Karlsson.
The Senators tried hard to deal Spezza after the veteran center recently requested a trade. Spezza is signed through 2014-15 and carries a $7 million salary cap hit (but will make just $4 million next season). He’s coming off a season in which he scored 23 goals and added 43 assists.
If Spezza can stay healthy, this deal could end up being a great one for general manager Jim Nill and the Stars. The team didn’t have to give up a ton to acquire Spezza, and the 31-year-old forward should slide in nicely on a Stars team that’s trending upward. Dallas returned to the Stanley Cup playoffs last season and has a good young core with high-end players such as Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn already on the roster.
Spezza probably will be slotted as Dallas’ second-line center.