Miller, Spezza and Iginla head busy free agency day

Tue Jul 1, 2014 7:34pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - American goaltender Ryan Miller, Canadian center Jason Spezza and veteran right wing Jarome Iginla were the biggest names on the move on Tuesday as National Hockey League's free agency opened with a flurry of player signings.

Miller, who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender in 2010, joined the Vancouver Canucks on a three-year deal estimated by local media to be worth $18 million.

"I'm so happy to join the @VanCanucks. What a great day! They keep telling me it's always this sunny here," tweeted Miller, who was the most valuable player at the 2010 Winter Olympics hockey tournament staged in Vancouver.

The 33-year-old goalie split his time between the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues last season, posting a 25-30-4 record for a goals against average of 2.64 in a combined 59 games.

Spezza, a 31-year-old All-Star center, ended his 11-season career with the Ottawa Senators and signed with the Dallas Stars on a hectic day of free agency when more than 70 players traded teams.

Captain of the Senators, Spezza had requested a trade last month but turned down a possible move to the Nashville Predators before accepting the chance to link up with 22-year-old Tyler Seguin as the top two centers for the Stars.

Spezza, an All-Star in 2008 and 2012, heads to Dallas along with forward Ludwig Karlsson in exchange for forwards Alex Chiasson, Nicholas Paul and Alexander Guptill, and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"Ottawa was home for me ... since I was 18 years old," Spezza, who had one year left on a contract that carried a $7 million NHL salary-cap charge, told Sportsnet.

"It's bitter-sweet to leave there but I can honestly say I'm really excited about going to Dallas and the next chapter of my career here."   Continued...

 
Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza (19) reacts after he scores the game winning shootout goal during the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Ottawa Senators defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports