There is some irony in the fact that Jason Spezza was finally traded on Canada Day. After all, there had been weeks of speculation that the star centre wasnt enamoured with the idea of playing in a Canadian market. But a few hours after the trade, Spezza wanted to make it clear that he wasnt leaving Ottawa because he couldnt stand the pressure and scrutiny that came with playing in the nations capital. “I dont think thats accurate," Spezza told TSN.ca. "My biggest motivator for a trade was to win. It will be portrayed however they want it to be portrayed, but the last thing I was worried about was coming out and doing interviews in front of my stall.” During the past month, it was widely reported that Spezza put the other Canadian teams on his no-trade list and that his desire was to go south of the border, where he would face less scrutiny. However, Spezza said the fact that most Canadian teams are struggling right now was the biggest reason why he put them on his no-trade list. He is never one to shy away from microphones and says he would welcome playing in a Canadian market again down the road if the opportunity arose. “It was more circumstance than anything of why those (Canadian) teams were on my list. I have one year left on my deal and I wanted to go someplace where I could win a Cup,” Spezza said. The troubling trend for Senators fans, however, is that Spezza is the latest superstar to have a somewhat messy departure from their city. In the summer of 2009, Dany Heatley demanded a trade and ultimately forced the clubs hand into trading him to San Jose. Last summer, Daniel Alfredsson and the organization had a sudden and bitter divorce, prompting the long-time captain to sign with Detroit as a free agent. Now that Spezza has been shipped to Dallas, it only adds to the growing perception that superstars have a short shelf life in Ottawa. But Spezza says the fans in Ottawa arent to blame for a number of players wanting to leave in a short window of time. “Its a fine market for stars, but just like any hockey market, its tough when youre not winning. All three situations are unique. I didnt make my decision because of Alfie and Alfie didnt make his decision because of Heater,” Spezza explained. “We all had our own reasons. There were some similarities, but in the end, each was a unique case.” In some ways, this does appear to be different than the Alfredsson saga from last summer, when the captain abruptly ended his tenure with the club. Spezza appeared to have a more calculated, long-term approach – far less emotional than the course Alfredsson seemed to take. But there is a striking similarity between Alfredssons comments last summer and the ones made by Spezza today. In each case, the captain felt like he had a better chance to win a Stanley Cup with a different organization. “All I can say is my goal is to win a Cup. I think Ottawa has a gd chance. They have a gd core of young players and a gd nucleus. But for me right now, I just felt like Dallas was a great fit,” Spezza added. Spezza said he had discussions with Bryan Murray towards the end of the season and alerted the front office that he likely wasnt going to re-sign a contract extension beyond 2015. And rather than make it awkward for everyone during the 2014-15 season – constantly answering questions about his future – he felt it was best for all parties involved to make a preemptive move this summer. “I didnt have any interest in signing an extension and that kind of hinted to them that maybe it was time to move on. I met with Bryan and had some really gd and frank discussions. And I was being honest with them when I said it was best for me and best for them if I moved on,” Spezza explained. Spezza was asked if he knew the regular season finale in Pittsburgh on April 13 would be his last game in a Senators jersey. He scored a brilliant goal in the shtout to secure a Senators 3-2 victory and he admitted, “It wasnt lost on me that it could have been my last goal with Ottawa.” Spezza said he stayed quiet for the past few weeks out of respect for the process, but once Murray told reporters at the NHL GM meetings last month that Spezza had indeed requested a trade, he knew the writing was on the wall. “Once Bryan went public, I knew it was probably done for me there,” he said. (Spezza also went out of his way to point out that he still has a terrific relationship with Murray and holds the Senators general manager in the highest regard). Spezza isnt sure how the crowd at Canadian Tire Centre would react to his appearance when he makes his return to Ottawa on January 29, 2015 in a Dallas Stars jersey, but he does want Senators fans to know that he does not hold a grudge against them – even though he was often seen as a lightning rod for criticism by the fan base. “My time in Ottawa was fond and I know a lot of people are upset," Spezza said. "I would have loved to have the storybk career, where you spend your whole life in one city and play for one team, but thats part of the hard decision we had to make. This didnt just happen overnight and I woke up one morning and said ‘I want to leave. There was a lot of thought put into this.” Wholesale NFL Jerseys . The Kings paraded the Stanley Cup through downtown Los Angeles on Monday to celebrate their second NHL title in three seasons. Cheap Jerseys Fast Shipping . The Padres made the moves before Fridays game at Washington. They promoted infielder Jace Peterson from Double-A San Antonio and right-hander Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso.A doubleheader of divisional battles takes place tonight on TSN2. First, the Philadelphia Phillies play host to the Atlanta Braves in a matchup of NL East rivals followed by the Oakland Athletics visiting Los Angeles to play the Angels in the AL West. All the action gets underway at 7pm et/4pm pt on TSN2. It was a successful slate of games for both Philadelphia and Atlanta this past weekend. The Phillies had lost four in a row before taking all three games of their series with the Miami Marlins, while the Braves bounced back from a series loss to the New York Mets by taking three straight meetings with the Washington Nationals. Atlanta came into the season with depth concerns to its rotation thanks to a rash of injuries, but saw late addition Aaron Harang continue his solid start in Sundays 10-2 victory. Harang yielded one run over six innings and has posted a 0.96 earned run average through his first three starts. It also helped that the hurler was staked to a 6-0 lead after two innings. "When the guys come out and they put up runs on the board early, as a pitcher you can just settle back and just throw your game knowing you have some leeway to play with," Harang said. Justin Upton made sure his pitchers had plenty of wiggle rm in the series, going 8-for-10 with a pair of homers. He has 11 hits, four home runs and eight RBI over his last four games, and was one of three Braves sluggers to go deep on Sunday. Freddie Freeman, riding a nine-game hitting streak, and Andrelton Simmons also had home runs. Ervin Santana will make his second start with the Braves tonight and put together a spectacular debut last Wednesday. Santana, signed on March 12 to fill a hole in the rotation, held the Mets scoreless over eight innings of a 4-3 win, yielding three hits and striking out six without a walk. The righty began the game -- and his Braves career -- by throwing 20 straight strikes. "We went out with a game plan of getting ahead," Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis said of what made Santana so effective. Santana has faced the Phillies just once before, doing so while with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim back in 2008. The 31-year-old picked up a win, charged with one unearned run on two hits and a pair of walks in seven innings. He also struck out nine. The Phillies are hoping to put some early-season struggles behind them and are coming off back-to-back one-run wins over the Marlins. Chase Utley keyed Sundays 4-3 victory with a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. Utleys third homer of the season upped his season average to .500 and he is the first Phillies player to start a season with a 10-game hitting streak since Pat Burrell in 2005. Wil Nieves notched a two-run double among his three hits and Ryan Howard also homered for Philadelphia, which was coming off a 10th-inning victory the previous day on Jimmy Rollins walk-off homer. "The guys are patient at the plate and swinging the bats up and down the lineup," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had gd at-bats throughout the game." Getting the call tnight for the Phillies will be Roberto Hernandez, who won his debut with the club on April 4 and then did not factor into a 9-4 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.dddddddddddd Hernandez matched his second-highest strikeout total in a game with nine, but also allowed four runs (3 earned) on seven hits in five innings of work. The 33-year-old righty will make his second career start versus the Braves and first since June 17, 2007 while with Cleveland. Hernandez got a win on that day, scattering two runs over seven innings. The Braves have gone 23-14 versus the Phillies over the previous two seasons, but lost five of nine in Philadelphia in 2013. Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - 10pm et/7pm pt Jesse Chavez takes another stab at his first win of the season Monday night when the Athletics enter Angel Stadium to open a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Chavez has been stellar through two turns (1.38 ERA) in his first full season as a starting pitcher in the majors. After holding Seattle to one run in six innings during his first start, Chavez quieted the Twins bats on Thursday as he allowed only earned one run in seven innings. However, both times he walked away with a no-decision. For Los Angeles, left-hander Hector Santiago is also in search of his first win in 2014. But unlike Chavez, Santiago struggled in both of his first two starts. Most recently, he allowed four runs and three walks in 4 1/3 innings against Seattle last Tuesday. Hell hope for some more offensive production from a lineup that has come alive of late. On Sunday, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez connected on back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning of an eventual 14-2 win over the New York Mets in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series. Hank Conger and Ian Stewart also went deep for the Halos, and all nine hitters in the lineup recorded a hit and scored at least one run. "(The Angels are) always a very dangerous team," As manager Bob Melvin said of Mondays opponent. "You have to play well against them. Offensively, theyre a force. I know theyre down (injured outfielder Josh) Hamilton right now, but they still have a lot of guys who can hurt you, and some different starting pitching we havent seen." However, Oaklands pitching presents a tough challenge, as well. As starters threw 17 scoreless innings and struck out 34 batters in the three-game weekend series at Seattle. In Sundays series-clinching, 3-0 win, Scott Kazmir struck out nine and allowed only two hits in six shutout innings. Four relievers combined to close the dr over the final three frames. "Its exciting to have guys follow up a quality start, one after another, one through five. It really is exciting," Kazmir said. "We just want to keep going out there and keep making quality pitches and quality outings, all of us." In terms of the head-to-head series between these two teams, Oakland has won 13 of the last 19 meetings at Angel Stadium. Overall, the As have won the last four season series after going 11-8 against the Halos in 2013. ' ' '