FRISCO—Jason Spezza is about to enter his third season with the Dallas Stars and the veteran center can’t be happier with how things have gone thus far in Big D. “Yeah, I think we’re growing. We feel like we’re in a bit of a window here, we have to try to win,” Spezza said. “You can sense the urgency around the rink, you can sense through [Stars President] Jim [Lites] and [head coach] Lindy [Ruff], just the push to try to make us better.”
Last season, Spezza, 33, had 33 goals and 63 points, his first 30-goal season since 2011-12 with the Ottawa Senators. Along with captain Jamie Benn (41 goals) and Tyler Seguin (33 goals), he was one of three 30-goal scorers last season with the Stars, who led the NHL with 267 goals.
The season prior, his first as a Star after coming over in an off-season trade with the Senators, Spezza had 45 assists and 62 points. He has been a great fit on the ice and in the room for Dallas, giving the Stars another veteran voice, a shining example to his younger teammates of the heights one can reach through hard work in today’s NHL.
But Spezza has been an equally good fit in the community. Through his Jason Spezza Scholarship Fund, which helps provide on-ice opportunities for children who cannot afford to play hockey, a program supported by Texas Land and Cattle, Spezza donated $25,000 last season.
Texas Land and Cattle donated $300 for each point the veteran center recorded last season and also added $6,100 to equal Spezza’s $25,000 donation for the season.
Several weeks ago, Spezza held an event at the Frisco Star Center to honor the scholarship recipients from last season, his way of giving back to the game which has given him so much.
“Hockey’s been a huge part of my life,” Spezza said. “Some of my best childhood memories or probably all of my best childhood memories were on the ice and going to tournaments. All of my friends have been through hockey. Even now to this day, it’s an escape. When you’re on the ice, you have no problems. To just give kids an opportunity [to also experience that] was my thought. [Just] trying to grow the game a little bit and then share the joy you can get through the game of hockey.”
With 63 points last season and likely a similar level of production coming this season, he has done his part to help the fund thrive. However, Spezza knows none of this would be possible without the generous support Texas Land and Cattle has provided.
“We were really lucky to have Texas Land & Cattle come and really help double the support and just be on board. They’ve provided the food and the experience,” Spezza said. “They’ve matched and have been a big supporter in this. It’s nice when you have passionate people behind you to kind of help bring things along.”