Stars' Spezza returns to Ottawa to face Senators as 'a better player'
Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports

Jason Spezza believes his move to Dallas has made him a better hockey player.

The Dallas Stars center, who makes his return to Ottawa for the first time since being traded by the Ottawa Senators this past offseason, admits it took some time to adjust to his new surroundings, but feels the move is proving to be beneficial.

"It’s been challenging. It’s not easy to move teams when you’ve been in one spot for so long. But I think it’s made me a better player," he told Mike Heika of the Dallas News. "There’s been a learning curve, probably a little more than I expected. But I guess that’s been being a little naive in moving teams for the first time - you expect everything to fall into place, but it takes a little bit of work."

Spezza - drafted second overall by the Senators in 2001 - laments not being able to bring the Stanley Cup to Canada's capital, getting as close as the Final in 2007. And after having asked out of Ottawa, he's unsure about the reception he'll receive from the Senators faithful, but appears hopeful that it'll be more cheers than jeers.

"When you’re in the same spot for a long time, sometimes it takes a hard decision," Spezza said. "Hopefully, (the fans) appreciate I gave everything when I was here and tried to do all I could to help us win."

Spezza enters the game against the Senators with eight goals and 27 assists in 47 games with the Stars.

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Stars' Spezza returns to Ottawa to face Senators as 'a better player'
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