Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL July 2nd, 2014

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the first six hours of Free Agency, the league signed almost half a billion dollars worth of contracts.

You cannot ignore what the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers did with the magnitude of their moves to get back to the salary-cap floor and beyond on Tuesday.

But what did we learn from the latest edition of the NHL free-agent frenzy that saw 73 players (41 forwards, 20 defenceman, 12 goalies) and $503.1 million US worth of contracts signed in the first six hours?

Jason Spezza is now part of the Dallas crew.

Maybe because he’d seen how it played out with former teammate Dany Heatley, but Jason Spezza didn’t want his exit from the Ottawa Senators to follow the same agonizingly slow path. So in the end, he accepted a trade to a team, the Dallas Stars, that may not have been his first choice, but offers intriguing options to a player seeking a change of scenery and hoping to win a championship.

The Stars have done a nice job in the past two years of beefing up their core group under general manager Jim Nill. A year ago, Nill made a bold move to pick up Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins and Seguin rewarded him by finishing fourth in the NHL with 84 points in 80 games. On Wednesday, just before the window opened on the NHL’s free-agent window, Nill acquired Spezza, who was fourth in the NHL in scoring in 2012, along with Senators prospect Ludwig Karlsson in exchange for one roster player, two prospects and a second-round pick in 2015.

Looks like Tanguay was in on trying to convince Iginla to join the Avalanche.

Iginla said his respect for Sakic, a teammate on Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, was a factor in his decision.

"I have a lot of respect for Joe, getting to know him and to play with him over the years and also for the career he's had," Iginla said. "He's a winner, but there were a lot of things that went into it. I think the team, being a great young team, playing against them, watching them and the players that they have and the goaltender (Vezina Trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov) that they have, the direction that they're going ... all the good things that I heard but also from playing against the guys and seeing how good they are and the direction that they're going.

"Right away when I heard from Joe, and [Tanguay] reached out to me in a text that they were interested, I thought it was pretty intriguing because I was aware that going back to Boston, it didn't look like it was going to be an option."

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