Jason Spezza will not be testing the free agent market this summer.
The 31-year-old centre and the Dallas Stars announced a four-year, $30-million contract extension Friday.
“Jason is a world-class player and his commitment to the organization is a reflection of what we are building in Dallas,” general manager Jim Nill said via statement. “The professionalism and production he brings to our group is key for our success moving forward and we value the leadership he brings to our team.”
The signing, which will carry an average annual value of $7.5 million through the 2018-19 season, comes on the heels of the Stars’ snapping their three-game losing skid Thursday night with a 3-1 victory over the Coyotes.
Nill told us in September he was “pretty confident” he would be able to get an extension finalized before the trade deadline.
“As long as Jason’s comfortable in Dallas, we’ve got a good young team that he’s a big part of. We’re going to build this team around him. Along with [Tyler] Seguin and [Jamie] Benn, he’s a big part of our future over the next four or five years,” Nill said at the time. “He’s going to love this city. I think his family’s going to love it. And I think it’s going to be a good fresh start for him.”
The former Ottawa Senators captain nixed a deal to the Nashville Predators this spring but approved the July 1 deal that sent him and Ludwig Karlsson to Dallas in exchange for wingers Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in 2015 just hours before NHL’s free agency opened up.
Nill first spoke with Spezza’s agent, Rick Curran, immediately after the trade, touched base again in mid-July and began discussing an extension for Spezza before the the season began.
A Mississauga, Ont., native, Spezza is in the final year of the seven-year, $49-million deal he signed with the Senators.
He has scored four goals and team-high 14 assists through 20 games with the Stars this season.
“It’s definitely a team that’s on the ups [and] something I’m happy to be a part of,” Spezza said this summer.