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Jason Spezza is gone, so the Ottawa Senators needed a top centre. David Legwand neede
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Jason Spezza is gone, so the Ottawa Senators needed a top centre. David Legwand needed a home a few days into free agency. On Friday the Senators went about the process of replacing Spezza by signing Legwand to a US$6-million, two-year contract. The 33-year-old cited filling that spot and playing for coach Paul MacLean as the reasons he chose Ottawa over some other teams. Legwand does know hes not a Spezza clone and wont try to be. "Obviously what Jason Spezza did in Ottawa was pretty remarkable," Legwand said on a conference call. "Hes a point-a-game guy and a very rare offensive talent. I dont think youre going to fill his shoes, but I think you can go in there, do some things and maybe help the all-around game." Legwand played more than 900 NHL games over 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators before being traded at the deadline to the Detroit Red Wings. He had 51 points (14 goals and 37 assists) in 83 games in 2014-15, and 577 points in his career. Spezza had 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points in his only season as Senators captain. He asked for a trade and got his wish Tuesday with a trade to the Dallas Stars for right-winger Alex Chiasson, two prospects and a draft pick. Legwand, who will count $3 million against the salary cap each season and make $2.5 million in the first year and then $3.5 million in the second, expects to fill in as the Senators second-line centre behind Kyle Turris. In a statement announcing the signing, general manager Bryan Murray didnt promise that but complimented the different things Legwand can do. "David is a good, veteran centre, a guy that skates pretty well, gets up and down the ice," Murray said. "We just think the way things shook out for us that having an experienced centre that can be a decent faceoff man, be a good defensive player, get points, was very important at this time." Legwand, a Detroit native, reportedly drew interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs and others. MacLean made a difference in his decision-making. "I just think hes a great hockey person," Legwand said. "He obviously won the coach of the year for a reason, and I think playing against him in Detroit I think he had a lot to do with a lot of their success there." MacLean was the Jack Adams Award winner in 2013 when the Senators overcame injuries to Spezza, defenceman Erik Karlsson and goaltender Craig Anderson to make the playoffs. They missed this past year after Daniel Alfredsson left to sign with the Red Wings. Legwand believes the Senators, with Milan Michalek back on a $12-million, three-year contract, Bobby Ryan, Turris and Karlsson leading the offence, can contend for a playoff spot next season. "Thats got to be your goal is to get into the dance," Legwand said. "If you get in you never know what can happen." Also Friday the Senators signed restricted-free-agent defenceman Eric Gryba to a $2.5-million, two-year deal. Hell count $1.25 million against the cap each year, making $1.2 million next season and $1.3 million after that. Gryba, 26, had 11 points (2-9) in 57 games last season. The Senators might not be done making moves, as Murray reiterated he was continuing to discuss a trade and added, "its just a matter of if we can get satisfaction both ways." "We probably will do something else but I do feel comfortable with the roster," Murray said. "I think that if we have to add we will, but it looks like our young players that have been drafted by the organization and have developed within -- weve got a couple of guys that are ready and if they get a chance Im sure theyll perform very well." There have been reports that Ottawa has had discussions with the Philadelphia Flyers about veteran forward Vincent Lecavalier. Fridays signing reduces the likelihood of that, unless Lecavalier plays the wing or Legwand centres the third line. Mark Stone Jersey . -- Alex Anthopoulos spoke volumes with what he didnt say on right-hander Ervin Santana. Matt Duchene Jersey . Kevin Durant certainly played like there was on Sunday night, scoring 36 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Thunder made quick work of the visiting Pacers with a 118-94 win. http://www.senatorssale.com/. Span, Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche had two hits apiece as Washington won the final two games of the series. The Nationals improved to 3-7 against Atlanta. They increased their division lead over the Braves to 1 1/2 games. Daniel Alfredsson Jersey . - Ronda Rousey realizes shes finishing up one of the biggest years for any fighter in the young history of mixed martial arts at UFC 168, and the UFCs bantamweight champion intends to go out on top. Jason Spezza Jersey . Langer appeared to be in trouble when his second shot on the par-5 18th ended up in the rough short of the green. He hit a brilliant pitch to 5 feet and made the putt after Slumans birdie attempt rolled just wide. HOUSTON -- Houston defensive end Antonio Smith apologized Monday for using the word "spying" about New England, but didnt exactly back down from the accusations he made after the Texans loss to the Patriots. On Sunday after Houstons 34-31 loss, Smith told reporters that the Texans had some new wrinkles in their defence and it was "miraculous" how the Patriots changed their offence to key on the defence. He said then: "Either teams are spying on us or scouting us. I dont know what it is." On Monday, he said that he thought reporters in Houston knew him well enough to know that he could be joking and still be curious about something like this at the same time. "Im sorry I said the word spying because of a prior engagement of them being caught spying before," he said. The NFL fined New England coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and took away a first-round pick in the 2008 draft for videotaping New York Jets signals during a game on Sept. 9, 2007. Belichick said he thought that was allowed and apologized for what he said was a mistake in his interpretation of the rule prohibiting it. Belichick was asked on a conference call Monday morning if he saw Smiths comments. &quuot;Yeah, I saw them," he said.dddddddddddd "I dont have any comment on them. I think thats a league matter." Houston coach Gary Kubiak also was questioned about what Smith said and refused to address them directly. "I have the utmost respect for their organization, their players, their coaches, their head coach and the standard that theyve been setting for a long, long time in this league," he said. "So ... they did a great job yesterday and have been doing it a long time." The loss extended Houstons franchise-record skid to 10 games. The Texans were up 17-7 at halftime before New England rallied for the win. Smith said Monday that he was surprised his comments caused such a stir and wondered why no one had a sense of humour about what he said. "Though it may be something I was curious about that kind of didnt seem right," he said. "Like how all of a sudden the change here? It wasnt a serious matter to where I was thinking: Aw man, theyre spying on us. Theyre cheating. Things like that to the point where it gets to a big story about me accusing them of cheating. Its me being me, being funny." Houston will try to end its skid Thursday night at Jacksonville. 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