A familiar story that feels a little more uncertain this offseason, Jason Spezza says he has no desire to play for any other team than the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, they have so many offseason questions that need to be answered, there’s no guarantee Spezza will be offered another opportunity to return.
Jason Spezza wants to stay with the Leafs. 🍁 pic.twitter.com/aS0oHnh08u
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 17, 2022
It seems the two choices are, re-sign or retire. Spezza said after another disappointing elimination from the postseason, “This is the only place I’ll play.” He added, “I’m a little lost right now, to be honest.”
If it was easy for the Maple Leafs to offer Spezza another league-minimum contract, they probably would. He produced effectively last season the role that was asked of him, posting 12 goals and 25 points in 71 games. But, things aren’t that simple. Spezza is just one of many decisions GM Kyle Dubas needs to make and frankly, he’s well down on the list of priorities.
Dubas needs to determine if the Leafs should roll it back with largely the same group or go a different direction in the way he builds his roster. He needs to get his goalie situation figure out (which won’t be cheap) and he has UFAs like Ilya Mikheyev and Mark Giordano to deal with.
Spezza also knows his contributions to the team go down each season. He’ll be relied upon less and less as the young guys take on larger roles and, at some point, the Leafs will have to ask if it’s worth keeping Spezza around. Perhaps, a role in management or behind the bench is a better place for him if he’s not going to play a good chunk of the games.
It may take some time to determine Spezza’s future. The fixes in Toronto won’t be quick and he’ll have to wait until other things are sorted before the Leafs get around to him. He seems willing to do so, even if he’d prefer to know what his future holds.
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