Dallas signs Jason Spezza to four-year, $30 million extension

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The Dallas Stars have inked Jason Spezza to a four-year, $30 million contract extension, according to the Dallas Morning News and TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The Stars are expected to make the news official today. (Update: It’s official.)

Spezza’s $7.5 million annual cap hit will represent a mild increase over his current average salary of $7 million in his expiring seven-year deal. The cap hit will put him on par with Pavel Datsyuk and Steven Stamkos, although Stamkos’ contract will expire in the summer of 2016 and he’s expected to get a substantial raise in his new deal. Spezza also comes with a marginally higher cap hit than Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan and Boston’s David Krejci, who will both make an average of $7.25 million annually in their seven and six-year deals respectively that start in 2015-16.

The 31-year-old forward was acquired by the Dallas Stars in the summer of 2014 after he demanded to be traded out of Ottawa. The Stars sent Alex Chiasson, Ludwig Karlsson, Nicholas Paul, Alexander Guptill, and a 2015 second round draft pick to the Senators in order to acquire him. The hope was that Spezza could help take the Stars to the next level after they were eliminated in the first round of the 2014 playoffs.

Dallas has gotten off to a rough 7-9-4 start this season, but Spezza has largely lived up to expectations with four goals and 18 points in 20 games.

Spezza is currently projected to be consume the largest cap hit of any Stars’ player in 2015-16 and that’s a title he might hold for a couple years as Tyler Seguin comes with a $5.75 million cap hit through 2018-19 and Jamie Benn can’t get a raise from his current average salary of $5.25 million until his current deal expires in the summer of 2017.

Update:

Here’s Stars GM Jim Nill in a release:

“Jason is a world-class player and his commitment to the organization is a reflection of what we are building in Dallas. 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.”