On the heels of the report this morning that the Dallas Stars were expected to announce the signing of Jason Spezza to a contract extension, the official news has been made -- the contract has now been signed.
The deal was one that was "close" earlier this week and it was just a matter of time before it was officially announced. The Dallas Stars posted this, as Spezza finalized the deal with the actual signing of the contract. A cool moment to get to see:
The contract may seem costly on it's face, but the simple truth is that this is the going rate for top centers in the NHL -- when Paul Stastny is signing for $7 million a year, you have to believe that Spezza was going to be looking for even more on the open market.
With this contract, the Stars have Spezza now locked up until the end of Tyler Seguin's contract and have a core of three very good, elite forwards under contract for at least the next three years. The Stars will have plenty of cap space and room to make some more significant moves next summer, as Jim Nill has perfectly set up this team for further growth around this core group of players.
Here's the press release:
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the team has signed center Jason Spezza to a four-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Spezza, 31, has posted 18 points (4-14=18) in 20 games played during his first season as a Dallas Star. His 14 assists are tied for ninth in the League and first on the Stars. On Nov. 8 vs. San Jose, he appeared in his 700th career NHL game and recorded career point number 700. He became just the second player to do that, joining Ilya Kovalchuk who was selected first overall in Spezza's 2001 NHL Draft class. In 706 career regular season games, he has posted 705 points (255-450=705).
"Jason is a world-class player and his commitment to the organization is a reflection of what we are building in Dallas," said Nill. "The professionalism and production he brings to our group is key for our success moving forward and we value the leadership he brings to our team."
Prior to joining the Stars, the forward spent 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, where he departed the organization ranking sixth all-time in games played (686), and was second in goals (251), assists (436) and points (687). During his time in Ottawa, Spezza surpassed the 65-point plateau six times, and recorded at least 50 points nine times. He has also finished top-10 in the NHL in points on two separate occasions, including in 2007-08 when he finished sixth, and the 2011-12 campaign when he finished fourth.
In 2007, Spezza helped lead the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup Final, where he posted 22 points (7-15=22) in 20 games, which was tied for the team lead. In total, he has made eight Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances, posting 52 points (17-35=52) in 56 games.
A two-time NHL All-Star, Spezza played in both the 2008 Game in Atlanta and the 2012 Game in Ottawa. He has also represented Canada on the international stage on six occasions, winning two silver medals at the 2008 and 2009 IIHF World Championships, respectively. During the 2011 IIHF World Championships, he posted a team-leading seven points (4-3=7) for Canada.
Originally selected by Ottawa in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2001 NHL Draft, Spezza was acquired by the Dallas Stars on July 1, 2014 in exchange for right wing Alex Chiasson, left wing Nick Paul, left wing Alex Guptill and a second round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft.