Jason Spezza is open to the idea of a return to the Ottawa Senators.
The new 36-year-old center should become a free agent for the first time in his career on July 1 and told the TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun to The Athletic that his relationship remains strong with the organization where he spent the first 11 seasons of his NHL career.
"It's still early in the process, but I have a good relationship with people in Ottawa who are still there," Spezza told LeBrun. "It would be at the top of my list of considerations that is right. I got out of there on good terms. This definitely keeps the door open. It's food for thought, for sure. But it's so early in the process, let's see.
A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Spezza has just completed her fifth season with the Stars after her request for a Sens exchange was granted in 2014.
He appeared in 76 games last season, scoring eight goals and 19 assists. He added three goals and two assists in 11 playoff contests.
But Spezza's future will not be in Dallas, as he and general manager Jim Nill have agreed it's time to move on.
"He can still play a part," Nill said. "He was good for us in the playoffs, he was disappointed with his production in the regular season, but he still can play a part. Again, it was good for us in the playoffs.Unfortunately, we have some younger players coming in, and the salary ceiling, it was just the weather. But Jason is still a helpful player who has had a great career. & Quot;
For his part, Spezza says he intends to play in a 17th season.
"I think I have something I can add to a team," Spezza said. "I do not see a reason to stop just because it has been difficult for me, and I think playing in the playoffs and having an impact, reaffirmed with me that I can still contribute, and physically, I feel good."
In 1,065 career games over 16 seasons with Sens and Stars, Spezza recorded 332 goals and 583 assists.
Spezza's 687 points in a Senators' uniform are the second of the franchise's history.