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elsewhere, but chose to
January 29, 2019
1:28 am
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shushu
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OTTAWA - For the second straight year the Ottawa Senators have lost their captain on the opening day of NHL free agency. The Senators traded Jason Spezza, who was coming off his first year as captain, to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for winger Alex Chiasson along with prospects Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in 2015. Ottawa prospect Ludwig Karlsson was also part of the trade. Last year the Senators bid farewell to longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson after he chose to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. News of Spezzas departure was much less shocking to Senators fans, as the 31-year-old had requested a trade following the end of the season. "It was a combination of things and the fact I have one year left on my deal," said Spezza, when asked for the reasons behind the trade request. "Only having one year left on my contract I thought it was fair talking to Bryan (Murray) now so we dont get into a situation next year where were always talking about if Im extending or why Im not extending or whats going on moving forward. "I felt like it was best for me to move on and this was the appropriate time to take care of all this through the summer so that I can have a fresh start during the season and move on and the team can move on as well." Senators general manager Bryan Murray acknowledged this was a very difficult deal to be made. "As I said all along you dont get equal value for a skilled point getter, but with the request being three or four times made to us, and in spite of what everybody else says we didnt encourage any movement, we were asked if it would happen," said Murray. "I didnt want to go through another summer of issues … Dallas was the one option that I had. Jim Nill was very straightforward in what he could offer me." Murray told reporters that a contract extension had been offered and refused by Spezza. He said three trade offers had been in play at the NHL draft last weekend, but disappeared as the days went by leaving the Dallas offer as the lone deal on the table. The Senators would like to add another centre to their lineup and Murray said hes working on a deal that he hopes to finalize soon. With Spezzas departure Murray sees the Senators forging a new identity and believes Chiasson will fit right in. "Weve always wanted to shift to a hard working, competitive team that we had two years ago and then last year for some reason we got off the track," said Murray. "Were going to try and get that back on track." Chiasson, who had 13 goals and 35 points with the Stars last season, is the centrepiece of the trade, but in no way will the 23-year-old replace Spezza. Love him or hate him, Spezza was a point-per-game player over his 11 seasons with the Senators. In 686 games Spezza scored 251 goals and had 687 points. Spezza is in the final year of his contract with a $7 million cap hit and $4 million in actual salary. Over the course of his career Spezza has often been a lightning rod for criticism, and things seemed to come to a head this season for the veteran centre. When asked whether or not he felt the criticism was fair, Spezza said it came with the responsibility of being a star player. "I was the highest paid guy on the team and the guy who had been there for a long time so fingers were pointed at me at times, but I also got credit at times," Spezza said. "When you play in a Canadian market and you play in a city like that and youre in the same spot for a long time if you expect not to have the finger pointing you have unrealistic expectations. So at times the finger was pointing at me, but it was the reality of the situation that I was in." Spezza said his decision didnt come lightly and that he will miss many things about Ottawa, but in the end he was looking for a team that would give him the best chance at winning a Stanley Cup. Fans will remember that Alfredsson uttered nearly the exact same words last year after signing with Detroit. With two of its top players bolting from the organization one has to wonder what effect this will have on the Senators reputation. Murray is clearly frustrated by the perception that Ottawa is being viewed as a frugal team thats not willing to spend. "Ive never had one player Ive called and asked if they would be interested in coming to Ottawa say No Im worried about the money on your team and I wouldnt come," said Murray. "Perception is what you make it to be and what you really believe to be true. I think players know they come here and are treated well." Despite losing Spezza and Alfredsson in the span of two years, Murray said the team wont be forced to go into a rebuild. "No, were past that," said Murray. "Were going to have a good hockey team. Were going to compete. We lose a little bit at centre ice, we gain a little bit on the wing, weve got a couple of young guys coming that are going to be a different brand of player…I think our team is going to be really competitive, hard working group of people. I think were going to be well off going forward." Joining Spezza in Dallas is Ales Hemsky, who turned down an offer from the Senators for a contract extension. Hemsky was acquired at the trade deadline and showed chemistry with Spezza, but knowing the captain wanted out left Hemsky with little reason to remain in Ottawa. Both players said they were looking forward to being reunited in Dallas. The Senators did re-sign left-wing Milan Michalek to a three-year, $12-million contract Tuesday. Murray said Michalek had been offered a five-year offer elsewhere, but chose to remain in Ottawa. Atlanta Falcons Jerseys . Gaborik was acquired in a trade with Columbus on Wednesday and skated on the top line with centre Anze Kopitar and right-winger Justin Williams. "We created some things," said Gaborik, who logged 16:38 of ice time. Isaiah Oliver Jersey . The result was a game-winning, power-play goal. Chiasson snapped a third-period tie and lifted the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory on Monday night. http://www.falconsrookiestore......er-Jersey/ . Its like being on Broadway, everything you do matters. Id want to be good though! I couldnt play here if I wasnt very good. #83217388 / gettyimages. Logan Paulsen Jersey .Y. - Peyton Manning made his fifth MVP award a family affair. Deadrin Senat Falcons Jersey . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. 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