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Jason Spezza Says He’d Like to Return Next Season

Jason Spezza was asked about his current NHL season and whether or not he believed he could return next season.

It doesn’t feel like that long ago there was speculation Jason Spezza was being run out of Toronto. Under head coach Mike Babcock, he was made a healthy scratch on a number of occasions and if a trade wasn’t coming, perhaps a buyout was. Under new coach Sheldon Keefe, Spezza has seen a resurgence of sorts.

Now with nine goals and 21 points in 44 games, he’s regularly contributing as a depth forward for the Maple Leafs and being counted on for his leadership and flexibility in multiple roles. A team often ravaged by injuries, it’s been helpful to have Spezza around as the guy who’s been there and done that.

Spezza recently spoke with Chris Johnston of Sportsnet and said, despite some hurdles early in the season, he’s looking to come back next season in the NHL, maybe with the Maple Leafs.

“I don’t see why not” Spezza said when asked if he’d like to get another season under his belt before he calls it a career. Now a key part of Toronto’s playoff hopes, he added, “If I can contribute down the stretch and the team has success…”

Happy enough to be the veteran on the team he noted he loves the challenge of trying to get ready, and “trying to reinvent myself a little bit.” Basically, he likes what it means to be an NHL player — hanging with the guys and going through the grind and coming up with new ways to help.

The question is, would the Maple Leafs like to have him back? Considering they’re a team that will need every inch of salary cap assistance moving forward and Spezza plays for a league minimum $700K, he’s the perfect fit if he’s productive. And, so far, he’s been worth every penny. “Based on how this is playing out, there’s already a pretty strong case for keeping him in Toronto for another one.” said Johnston.

Related: Joe Thornton Added to TSN’s Trade Bait Board

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