According to Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts article, Toronto Maple Leafs depth forward Jason Spezza says he doesn’t believe these final few weeks of the NHL season will be it for him. Sure, the Maple Leafs might not make the playoffs and that would be disappointing. And, sure, Spezza is getting older, often used sparingly by a team that didn’t meet expectations this season (the Maple Leafs could still make the playoffs). That doesn’t mean he thinks he has little to offer.
Spezza wants to keep playing. He believes he can keep playing. It was clear, at times throughout the season with the Maple Leafs, he thought he should be playing more. But, will he keep playing with the Maple Leafs?
Spezza admits there have been no contract talks with the Leafs about an extension, but he’s not done. He still has a passion for the game and a willingness to help a team. That said, Toronto has bigger fish to fry. If he’s to stay in Toronto, he’ll likely have to wait his turn.
And, will he? Should he?
Spezza probably knows that his under 11 minutes per night and 25 points in 55 games isn’t going to allow him to ask for much more than the league minimum of $700K he’s making this season. He certainly won’t get more from the Maple Leafs who are tight against the cap as it is. But, could there be a team that sees what he’s been through in Toronto and is willing to take a one-year flyer on him?
His production in such a limited role is actually somewhat impressive and if given a bigger role on another team, he could be a 35-40 point player. At under $1 million for the season, that’s a pretty good value add.
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