FRISCO, Texas (AP) Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky are going to find out if what they started in Ottawa can lead to something special in Dallas.
Briefly teammates with the Senators last season, both forwards were acquired by the Stars on Tuesday – Spezza in a trade just before free agency opened and Hemsky on a three-year contract after deals could be done.
Spezza, who agreed to the Dallas deal a few days after using his no-trade clause to turn down a proposal from Nashville, was on a teleconference when one of the reporters told him Hemsky might be joining him again.
”I’m thrilled because we had great chemistry at the end of the year,” said Spezza, who will become a free agent next year unless he signs an extension with Dallas. ”So it’s nice to hear. We got to know each other pretty well pretty quickly.”
Spezza was a first-time captain for what turned out to a rough year in Ottawa, the last of 11 straight seasons with the Senators to start the 31-year-old’s career. Ottawa missed the playoffs after going to the second round in 2013, and Spezza asked for a trade after the season.
General manager Bryan Murray had a deal with the Predators during the draft last weekend, but Spezza held out for a trade that will make him and 22-year-old Tyler Seguin the top two centers on a team that includes high-scoring winger Jamie Benn.
He’s also reunited with Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who has coached him on Canadian national teams.
”It wasn’t so much a `no’ to the teams,” said Spezza, who was Ottawa’s top-scoring forward with 23 goals and 43 assists last season and has 687 points, including 251 goals, in 686 career games. ”I think the young group they have is an envy of a lot of the league, and I think I could fit in with helping out with depth at center.”
And maybe Hemsky will be a linemate again. The 30-year-old spent his first 10 seasons with Edmonton before a midseason trade to the Senators in March. The Czech winger has 146 goals and 348 assists in 672 games.
”I talked with Dallas even before Jason got traded, but I talked to Jason a lot last couple weeks,” said Hemsky, whose deal is reportedly worth $12 million. ”It wasn’t a huge factor because they told me I could play with a lot of good players, but now it’s even better that Jason got traded there.”
By trading Spezza, the Senators clear $7 million in salary cap space, taking back only $900,000 for Chiasson. But Spezza will only count $4 million against the Dallas cap in the final year of the deal.
The Stars also signed goalie Anders Lindback and forward Patrick Eaves to one-year contracts.
The 26-year-old Lindback appeared in 23 regular-season games and all four playoff games for Tampa Bay last season. Eaves had five points (two goals, three assists) in 30 games with Detroit and Nashville in 2013-14.
Chiasson, a 23-year-old winger, became the seventh player since 1943-44 with nine or more goals in his first 10 games when he carried over a hot start from 2012-13 into last season. He has 19 goals and 23 assists in 86 career games.
The 22-year-old Guptill is a third-round pick by Dallas in 2010 and spent three seasons at the University of Michigan before playing five games for the AHL’s Texas Stars. Paul, a 19-year-old winger, was a fourth-rounder in 2013.