This is certainly an interesting twist.
There were strong rumors that veteran forward Jason Spezza had no intention of retiring after his latest stint with the Dallas Stars, but most of those rumors suggested that he would be going back to the Ottawa Senators organization to end his career where it began. For the fans in Ottawa who were hoping to see that reunion take place I must apologize for what you are about to read next.
According to a breaking news report from TSN National Hockey League insider it now appears that the native of Toronto Ontario will instead be donning a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey in the final stages of his career. McKenzie reports that Spezza is expected to sign a one year contract with the Toronto Maple Leads today, and it sounds like Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has worked a little wizardry on this one.
In spite of the fact that he has clearly taken a step back Spezza showed he was still very much a capable player last season with 8 goals and 19 assists for a total of 27 points in 76 regular season games with the Stars. In the playoffs however he truly elevated his game once again when he picked up 3 goals and 2 assists for the Stars totaling 5 points in just 11 games played. Keeping that all in mind the Maple Leafs have somehow convinced Spezza to take on the league minimum salary of just $700,000 on that one year contract, making this look like an absolute steal for the Maple Leafs.
If you are a fan of the Ottawa Senators and Jason Spezza genuinely expressed interest in returning to your team for a swan song, something he hinted at in several interviews after the conclusion of the 2018 - 2019 NHL season, it is going to be a tough pill to swallow. I find it quite hard to believe that the Senators could not have put together some kind of offer that would have enticed Spezza to turn down the league minimum from the Leafs to help mentor the next generation of Senators players in that organization.