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Jason Spezza traded to Stars, Alex Chiasson headed to Sens

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Jason Spezza had 66 points last season. (Getty Images)
Jason Spezza had 66 points last season. (Getty Images)

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The action got under way in a big way before free agency even opened on Tuesday with the Dallas Stars acquiring Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators.

Spezza had requested a trade out of Ottawa and GM Bryan Murray began looking for a fit. He had a deal reached with the Predators at the draft but Spezza, with his limited no-trade clause, apparently nixed that deal, leaving Murray to find another option.

Enter Dallas, which has been rumored to be interested in Spezza and other centers for the past few weeks. They wanted to add another top-six centerman to play behind Tyler Seguin and in Spezza they have just that.

In fact, that's quite the 1-2 punch Dallas will have down the middle going forward and with Jamie Benn leading the wingers, the Stars seem to only further solidify themselves as a playoff team moving forward. It's a very fun group they are assembling with plenty of scoring potential in the top six now with Spezza.

The return package for Spezza (and Ludwig Karlsson) centers around one of the Stars' best young players, Alex Chiasson.

Given the constraints he was facing with Spezza, that's not an absolutely terrible return for Murray. Chiasson is a talented young forward who is tough on the power play and will get to the net. Still, it's not a great return either and of course they're now left with a hole at center but they can try to address that in numerous other ways. They did clear a lot of cap space in the deal and that counts some too.

From the Stars' standpoint, though, that's not a bad price to pay for Spezza one bit. Chiasson could develop further but in Spezza they know what they're getting, a player who had 23 goals and 43 assists last season in 75 games. Even if Spezza only stays a short time in Dallas, this is a tremendous bargain for Spezza's services for GM Jim Nill.

Spezza is expensive with his $7 million cap hit following him to Dallas but he's only signed for one more season, meaning the Stars will likely immediately turn to seeing if they can re-sign Spezza.

 
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