OTTAWA — Jason Spezza has been granted his wish to be traded away from the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators traded their captain to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for NHL forward Alex Chiasson, forward prospects Alex Guptill and Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Dallas also receives forward prospect Ludwig Karlsson in the deal.
Spezza, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent next summer, had asked for a trade and general manager Bryan Murray said he would try to accommodate him.
“I think it was best for me to move on, and I think Bryan felt it could help the team to help me move on, too,” Spezza said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon. “It was a decision I felt that was tough, but it’s a decision that had to help myself and just move forward.”
Once free agency opened, the Senators re-signed winger Milan Michalek to a three-year deal worth US$12 million.
Spezza, a 31-year-old centre, had control of his destination with a limited no-trade clause. He designated 10 teams he would not accept a trade to, which included the Nashville Predators, who had a deal done at this past weekend’s draft.
Spezza refused to waive the no-trade clause, leaving Murray to regroup and look for other options. Dallas ultimately emerged as that option, with the trade being agreed to Tuesday morning before the start of unrestricted free agency.
All along, Spezza said, he thought Dallas would be a good fit for him, playing with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and others. He learned on his conference call that the Stars also signed ex-Senators winger Ales Hemsky.
Hemsky got a three-year deal worth a reported $12 million.
In his first and only season as Ottawa’s captain, replacing Daniel Alfredsson, who left for the Detroit Red Wings last summer, Spezza had 23 goals and 43 assists. He was the Senators’ top-scoring forward.
Spezza reportedly had disagreements along the way with coach Paul MacLean but said: “By no means was Paul MacLean the reason I wante to get traded.”
By trading Spezza, the Senators get his $7 million cap hit off their books, taking back only $900,000 for Chiasson. Spezza’s actual-dollars salary for 2014-15 is $4 million, which is important for the budget-conscious Stars.
Chiasson, a 23-year-old right-winger, has 19 goals and 23 assists in 86 career NHL games. This past season he became the seventh player since 1943-44 to have nine or more goals in his first 10 games.
Guptill, 22, was a 2010 third-round pick of Dallas and spent the past three seasons at the University of Michigan before playing five games for the AHL’s Texas Stars.
Paul, a 19-year-old left-winger, was a fourth-rounder in 2013 and played for the North Bay Battalion last season.