Jason Spezza signs on for another season with Maple Leafs

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TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Jason Spezza #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Columbus Blue Jackets  in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Jason Spezza will remain in Toronto for one more season. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Jason Spezza will be back for another season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto announced Monday that it has re-signed the veteran centre to a one-year contract extension worth $700,000, or the same amount of money he earned in his debut season in blue and white.

Spezza, 37, had nine goals and 25 points in 58 games with the Leafs last year, providing considerable value on a veteran minimum salary. His usage and role developed into serious points of contention among the fanbase in the first few weeks of the season under Mike Babcock, but Spezza became a mainstay in the lineup once Sheldon Keefe took the reins in late November.

Spezza did not have a single point in the Leafs’ abbreviated postseason, but his leadership qualities and the admiration teammates have for him seemed clear despite the organization’s failure to survive the Columbus Blue Jackets in a five-game play-in series. The veteran was lauded by his teammates and the coaching staff for dragging them back into the fight before their incredible Game 4 comeback to extend the series.

Now signed on for an 18th season, Spezza had made it clear that his sole focus is on winning a championship. For his part, Spezza’s willingness to accept less money is a small advantage the Leafs have in their efforts to construct a roster that can compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Spezza is a veteran over 1,100 games and is 60 points from reaching 1,000 for his career.

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