Jason Spezza: Stars are 'the kind of team I wanted to go to, a team that has a bright future'

Jul 7, 11:07 PM

The Stars formally introduced Jason Spezza on Monday, and while he remains under contract for only one more season, the 31-year-old center said he focused in on Dallas as a preferred destination because he believes they're a team on the rise.

It was reported that Spezza rejected a deal that would have sent him to Nashville, and while he didn't come right out and admit it, he acknowledged that he did his best to steer things in a more southerly direction, and for a specific reason. 

“This didn't just happen by chance,” he said, as per the Dallas News. “While I certainly couldn’t pick the team or make the trade, I had enough power to steer things in the right direction. I want to be here, I like it here, it’s the kind of team I wanted to go to, a team that has a bright future.”

General manager Jim Nill added the presence of Spezza in the lineup only serves to strengthen his team's chances in an ultra-competitive Western Conference.

“Having Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza out there as your two centermen, when we go on the road, other teams are going to have a tough time matching up against us,” Nill said.

“We have lots of options there, so this is definitely a statement that we’re making a move, we’re here, and we’re looking forward to the season starting.”

Some have accused Spezza of running from the pressure that comes with playing for a Canadian team and accepting a lesser role as a No. 2 center, but he sees things differently. Spezza believes he's taken a harder road, albeit decidedly lower in the eyes of Senators fans.

“Honestly, the easiest thing to do would have been to stay there, go unrestricted and move on that way,” Spezza said. 

“But I knew in studying the trade market that whoever was going to get me had to be serious about winning. They had to pay a certain price and they had to be confident in where they were going, and that’s exactly what they have in Dallas. I wanted to come here, because I think I’ll have the opportunity to win.”

Spezza and the Stars will have their work cut out for them, but either way, they should be fun to watch.

Feature photo courtesy of Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports

Sep 30, 2:52 PM

Stars' Spezza wants to get 'comfortable' with new team before talking extension

Sep 30, 2:52 PM

Stars center Jason Spezza is in the midst of his first training camp outside of Ottawa. While he's excited to get things rolling with his new Dallas teammates, he's not yet ready to broach the subject of a contract extension.

General manager Jim Nill made it clear he wants to keep Spezza in the mix long term, but the 31-year-old is taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

Spezza told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com:

They've expressed that they want to talk [extension]. And we have all intentions of talking. But it's just I want to get comfortable first, and get started. It's really not a big concern of mine right now. I'm not naive, I know as the season goes on it'll become more of a talking point. But at this point, I'm just worried about playing and getting comfortable. If we start winning games, it's going to be a good fit for both sides. It's just a matter of getting comfortable first. There's no point in rushing into anything. 

Spezza added the move to Dallas was a "smooth transition," and if the Stars get off to a nice start this season, the desire to say "Texas, Forever" may grow even stronger.

Feature photo courtesy of Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports

Aug 19, 9:54 AM

Stars GM on re-signing Spezza: 'I think it’s going to happen'

Aug 19, 9:54 AM

When the Dallas Stars traded for Jason Spezza earlier this summer, the club boosted both its Stanley Cup chances and its profile around the NHL. The trade was made, however, with knowledge that the 31-year-old has one year remaining on his contract, meaning his contribution to the team's success could be short-lived.

According to Stars general manager Jim Nill, the plan was always to bring in Spezza for the long term, and he expects the two sides to agree on a contract extension in due time.

“I think it’s going to happen," Nill told The Dallas Morning News. "I’ve talked to his agent. We want Jason and his family to move in here. I think once we get him in here, get training camp rolling, I’ll sit down with his agent some more. When we made the trade the vision was he’s going to be a Star for a long time. 

"It wasn’t just a six-month stop.”

As per CapGeek, Spezza enters 2014-15 with $4 million remaining on his contract, with a $7 million cap hit, making him the highest-paid player on the Stars' roster this season.

Feature photo courtesy of Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports

Jul 7, 11:34 AM

Stars inquired about Spezza for months, not worried about extension talks

Jul 7, 11:34 AM

The Dallas Stars held a press conference for Jason Spezza on Monday morning and formally introduced the center to the media.

Spezza donned the No. 90 jersey and spoke to media about the number change, "I've always had good luck with nines."

General manager Jim Nill spoke about the reason to acquire Spezza and told the assembled media:

We're all in agreement that we needed to take this team to the next level... make the next jump. Over the last couple of months we have been in contract and obtained... one of the top play-makers, scorers in the league.

Spezza explained his decision to go to Dallas was simple. "First and foremost it gives me a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup and at this point in my career that's what I'm looking for."

Next summer Spezza will become a free agent if the Stars can't come to an agreement. Nill isn't worried about that as he said, "I've spoken to Jason's agent, we've already talked, we're going to let Jason get himself settled first."

Feature photo courtesy of Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports