The contract is confirmed as a one-year deal for $700,000.
Interesting on Spezza signing in Toronto.... No Bonuses. Didn't want to put additional pressure on their cap issues. Came back home to play and win in Toronto. Believes it would be the ultimate experience.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) July 1, 2019
As free agency signings began to leak, Bob McKenzie dropped this just as Toronto Maple Leafs fans were sitting down to breakfast:
Expect hometown boy Jason Spezza to sign a one-year contract with TOR today.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2019
Jason Spezza, a long time top centre for the Ottawa Senators, will be leaving the Dallas Stars after five seasons to play for the Leafs, his childhood team, and possibly for league minimum to boot.
While he’s not the superstar he once was while playing for big money contracts on the Senators and Stars, he’s about league average for a 3/4 centre, or so I’m told this chart shows:
Spezza has been a name thrown around for Leafs depth for a while, last spring Kevin Papetti wrote about how he could benefit the Leafs:
If the Leafs can get Spezza back to his pre ‘17-18 form, they would have themselves a terrific centre. Prior to this season, Speeza scored at a 5v5 points per 60 rate of at least 1.73 since ‘07-08 (as far back as I could go on Corsica), and this type of production would certainly make him overqualified as a third line centre.
He’s scored 27, 26, and 50 points in his previous three seasons - a big drop off from 2016-17 to 17-18 - but at 25ish points, that’s what we’d expect from a centre in his new position.
While he was a risk at $7.5 million, at 1/10th of that he can be an absolute steal.