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OTTAWA - For the second straight year the Ottawa Senators have lost their captain on the opening day of NHL free agency. The Senators traded Jason Spezza, who was coming off his first year as captain, to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for winger Alex Chiasson along with prospects Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in 2015. Ottawa prospect Ludwig Karlsson was also part of the trade. Last year the Senators bid farewell to longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson after he chose to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. News of Spezzas departure was much less shocking to Senators fans, as the 31-year-old had requested a trade following the end of the season. It was a combination of things and the fact I have one year left on my deal, said Spezza, when asked for the reasons behind the trade request. Only having one year left on my contract I thought it was fair talking to Bryan (Murray) now so we dont get into a situation next year where were always talking about if Im extending or why Im not extending or whats going on moving forward. I felt like it was best for me to move on and this was the appropriate time to take care of all this through the summer so that I can have a fresh start during the season and move on and the team can move on as well. Senators general manager Bryan Murray acknowledged this was a very difficult deal to be made. As I said all along you dont get equal value for a skilled point getter, but with the request being three or four times made to us, and in spite of what everybody else says we didnt encourage any movement, we were asked if it would happen, said Murray. I didnt want to go through another summer of issues a€| Dallas was the one option that I had. Jim Nill was very straightforward in what he could offer me. Murray told reporters that a contract extension had been offered and refused by Spezza. He said three trade offers had been in play at the NHL draft last weekend, but disappeared as the days went by leaving the Dallas offer as the lone deal on the table. The Senators would like to add another centre to their lineup and Murray said hes working on a deal that he hopes to finalize soon. With Spezzas departure Murray sees the Senators forging a new identity and believes Chiasson will fit right in. Weve always wanted to shift to a hard working, competitive team that we had two years ago and then last year for some reason we got off the track, said Murray. Were going to try and get that back on track. Chiasson, who had 13 goals and 35 points with the Stars last season, is the centrepiece of the trade, but in no way will the 23-year-old replace Spezza. Love him or hate him, Spezza was a point-per-game player over his 11 seasons with the Senators. In 686 games Spezza scored 251 goals and had 687 points. Spezza is in the final year of his contract with a $7 million cap hit and $4 million in actual salary. Over the course of his career Spezza has often been a lightning rod for criticism, and things seemed to come to a head this season for the veteran centre. When asked whether or not he felt the criticism was fair, Spezza said it came with the responsibility of being a star player. I was the highest paid guy on the team and the guy who had been there for a long time so fingers were pointed at me at times, but I also got credit at times, Spezza said. When you play in a Canadian market and you play in a city like that and youre in the same spot for a long time if you expect not to have the finger pointing you have unrealistic expectations. So at times the finger was pointing at me, but it was the reality of the situation that I was in. Spezza said his decision didnt come lightly and that he will miss many things about Ottawa, but in the end he was looking for a team that would give him the best chance at winning a Stanley Cup. Fans will remember that Alfredsson uttered nearly the exact same words last year after signing with Detroit. With two of its top players bolting from the organization one has to wonder what effect this will have on the Senators reputation. Murray is clearly frustrated by the perception that Ottawa is being viewed as a frugal team thats not willing to spend. Ive never had one player Ive called and asked if they would be interested in coming to Ottawa say No Im worried about the money on your team and I wouldnt come, said Murray. Perception is what you make it to be and what you really believe to be true. I think players know they come here and are treated well. Despite losing Spezza and Alfredsson in the span of two years, Murray said the team wont be forced to go into a rebuild. No, were past that, said Murray. Were going to have a good hockey team. Were going to compete. We lose a little bit at centre ice, we gain a little bit on the wing, weve got a couple of young guys coming that are going to be a different brand of playera€|I think our team is going to be really competitive, hard working group of people. I think were going to be well off going forward. Joining Spezza in Dallas is Ales Hemsky, who turned down an offer from the Senators for a contract extension. Hemsky was acquired at the trade deadline and showed chemistry with Spezza, but knowing the captain wanted out left Hemsky with little reason to remain in Ottawa. Both players said they were looking forward to being reunited in Dallas. The Senators did re-sign left-wing Milan Michalek to a three-year, $12-million contract Tuesday. Murray said Michalek had been offered a five-year offer elsewhere, but chose to remain in Ottawa. Larry Bird Jersey . 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The right-hander dropped his fourth straight decision in Los Angeles 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night, leaving his status very much in doubt as the Dodgers prepare for the stretch drive.MILWAUKEE -- Jonathan Lucroy has been frustrated, struggling at the plate the past month despite being named to his first All-Star team. That all changed Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds. Lucroy homered leading off the bottom of the ninth to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 victory over the Reds. "To be honest with you, the last couple of weeks have been kind of tough for making solid contact, but Im glad to help the team out, contribute and get it done tonight," said Lucroy, who was batting just .200 (21 for 105) in his last 25 games. It was Lucroys second homer of the game and 11th of the season. It was his second career walkoff homer and both were against the Reds. His first was last season off closer Aroldis Chapman and this one was off Sam LeCure. The Brewers had lost five consecutive series before beating the Reds in the first two games of this series. Lucroys average had dipped from .341 on June 18 to .308 entering Tuesday nights game. "Hes frustrated because he thinks hes squaring up some balls," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "Its not like he wasnt locked in, but today obviously he was." Francisco Rodriguez (4-3) pitched the ninth to earn the victory. Cincinnati, which is 0-5 since the All-Star break, brought in LeCure (1-2) to pitch the ninth. His outing lasted just three pitches as Lucroy hit a 1-1 offering for a line drive homer inside the left field foul pole. His first homer of the game was on a 3-2 pitch from starter Homer Bailey in the sixth. The Reds came out of the All-Star break just 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central but have quickly fallen 4 1/2 games back. "We just havent executed," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "We havent swung the bats well. We havent gotten a quality start. "And we havent played particularly good defence, weve missed some signs and just havent played terribly well," he said. Milwaukee scored all its runs on solo home runs. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez hit back-to-back homers in the first inninng on the one-year anniversary of the start of Brauns 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseballs drug policies.dddddddddddd "Im glad Im not facing them so its nice to have them on our side," Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson said of having Braun, Ramirez and Lucroy in the lineup. Braun hit his 13th homer and Ramirez followed with his 12th homer, and first since June 26. Cincinnati made it 2-1 in the fourth on Jay Bruces RBI double that scored Billy Hamilton from third. Lucroys first homer extended Milwaukees lead to 3-1. Cincinnati tied it 3-3 in the seventh. Nelson hit Ramon Santiago on the foot with a pitch with the bases loaded and pinch-hitter Chris Heisey hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Brandon Kintzler. Billy Hamilton then hit a soft fly ball but Zack Cozart was doubled off second base to end the inning. Kintzler, Zach Duke and Rodriguez pitched three hitless innings of relief for Milwaukee. "Kintzler did a great job, coming in with the bases loaded and no outs," Nelson said. The Reds managed only five hits and Milwaukee had six. Nelson allowed three runs, four hits and a walk and hit three batters while striking out five in his fourth major league start. "He was down in the zone and his slider was good," Roenicke said. Bailey allowed three runs, four hits and two walks while striking out three in his first start since leaving a game against the Chicago Cubs on July 10 due to right knee soreness. NOTES: Brewers 2B Scooter Gennett left the game in the fifth inning due to tightness in his right quad. Roenicke said he was day-to-day. ... Cozart left the game after being hit on the right hand by a pitch from Nelson in the seventh inning. X-rays were negative and the team said he was day-to-day. ... The Reds placed RHP Logan Ondrusek on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 13 and recalled RHP Curtis Partch from Triple-A Louisville. ... A brief rain shower caused the Brewers to close roof at Miller Park in the fourth inning. It reopened in the sixth. 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