Jason Spezza has re-signed with the Maple Leafs on a one year deal work $700,000. He was disappointed with how last season ended. Not winning the Stanley Cup is looked upon as unfinished business. He hopes to help the Maple Leafs correct that in 2021.
2019-20 Season Started Out Rough For Jason Spezza
We all remember the snub Spezza received from then coach Mike Babcock at the Maple Leafs home opener. Spezza took a one year deal at the league minimum to join his hometown team. Putting on a Maple Leafs jersey was a dream come true for Spezza. He had his family in attendance for the home opener to come see him in his first game as a Maple Leaf. That was then spoiled when babcock decided not to dress Spezza for the home opener. No matter what Spezza said to the media, you know it had to be upsetting to be treated that way.
From the moment Spezza signed with the Maple Leafs as a free agent, it seemed like Babcock was not thrilled to have him here. When training camp started in September, babcock did not seem overly welcoming at having Spezza on the team. He made no promises that Spezza would even make the team out of camp. Yes his production had slipped since he had 50 points in 2016-17 season, but he was still a better option for the bottom six than most from training camp roster.
Coaching Change Helped Jason Spezza
After the Maple Leafs fired Babcock in November and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe, Spezza found new life. He seemed more comfortable playing under Keefe and put up 25 points in 58 games while playing mostly 4th line duty. At this stage of his career, Spezza is not looked at for offense. What he brings to the team as an on ice and off ice leader can not be measured. Staying late after practice to help Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson and give the youngster some pointers is a prime example of his leadership.
Jason Spezza Has Unfinished Business
For a player who is near the end of his career and still trying to win a Championship, last season was a big disappointment. Spezza has returned on another one year deal for $700,000 with the hope of a better outcome this time around. Under head coach Sheldon Keefe, Spezza will look to play in as many games as possible, provided he stays healthy.
I think Spezza still has the ability to play 65-70 games and put up 30-35 points. It will all depend on how Sheldon Keefe decides to use Spezza in his lineup. He will mostly be used as the 4th line center, but from time to time I can see him being moved up to the 3rd line when needed.
Jason Spezza Looked At For Leadership
Having Spezza in the lineup will be beneficial to the young players on the team. Guys like Robertson, Egor Korshkov, Ilya Mikheyev, and Pierre Engvall can all learn a lot from Spezza. Having someone to talk to on the bench and in the locker room who loves hockey as much as Spezza does could do wonders for those young guys and their careers.
Final Thoughts On Jason Spezza Re-Signing
I was happy when the Maple Leafs signed Spezza for last season. I am even more thrilled to have him coming back to try and finish what he started. The Leafs winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal and if that can be achieved with Spezza on the team, it will become even more special. if the Maple Leafs were to win the Stanley Cup, I would love to see Spezza be the first player John Tavares hands the Cup to after lifting it himself.
Follow me on Twitter for more great content @Jermz13!
Follow us at @OT_Heroics for more great content!
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!
This article is sponsored by Bottom Line – Toronto’s Classiest Sports Bar