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07/01/2014

Dallas Stars continue to show their inner Red Wing

Jason-SpezzaFor the second consecutive offseason, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill wasted no time to dramatically upgrade his club on the first day of NHL free agency.

The Stars traded for Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza and prospect Ludwig Karlsson in exchange for forward Alex Chiasson, and prospects Nicholas Paul, Alex Guptill and a second round pick in 2015.

Spezza, who has one year remaining on his contract, immediately becomes the Stars' second line center, and gives the team a No. 1 caliber anchor down the middle behind. The Stars then signed free agent forward Ales Hemsky to a three-year, $12 million contract.

The Stars now boast forwards Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Val Nichushkin, Spezza and Hemsky. That is just about as good as any top six forwards in the NHL.

The Stars should be a favorite for a top-three seed in the Western Conference next season.

This loading up is exactly what the Red Wings did for years when Nill was an assistant to GM Ken Holland - draft young Euros (Nichushkin), sign established veterans who want to come here (Spezza). Spezza recently killed a potential trade to Nashville, but was OK coming to the Stars.

The team still has some serious concerns about quality blue line players, which you would expect they will address quickly or simply gamble one of their many young prospects will develop, but in terms of immediate upgrade to their rosters, Nill has done that.

This is what they did in Detroit for more than a decade, and they are starting to do in Dallas.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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