Jason Spezza has resigned from the Maple Leafs’ front office on Friday, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN. Shortly after Brendan Shanahan met with the media on Friday, and it was learned that Kyle Duba would not be back with the organization, the former GM’s right-hand man is leaving too. LeBrun shared that Spezze tendered his resignation before Shanahan spoke to the press, likely as a showing of solidarity for the fact that the Leafs were choosing to move on.
Spezza’s voluntary departure could be the first of many coming out of Toronto.
Spezza hadn’t spent much time as an executive with the Leafs’ organization. But, he owes what time he did spend there to Dubas, who immediately brought him on board as a special assistant to him when it was clear Spezza was contemplating retirement. While it could be that Spezz assumed Dubas’ departure would mean his time in Toronto was likely short-lived, it seems more likely he didn’t want to be there if his executive mentor wasn’t going to be either.
The question for Spezza now — which he may already know the answer to based on conversations he and Dubas might have had on Friday — is what he’ll do and if he’ll follow Dubas wherever the Maple Leafs former GM winds up. It could take some time, assuming Dubas’ comments about not popping up anywhere else anytime soon are true.
Spezza spent three seasons with the Maple Leafs as a player, joining the team in 2019 as a free agent. he said multiple times at the end of each successive season that if he wasn’t re-signed in Toronto, he wouldn’t play elsewhere. He also noted that upon hearing rumors of a possible trade, if he was moved, he would simply retire. That he’s chosen to leave the Leafs organization as an executive is no small decision.
Could Dubas and Spezza potentially wind up in Ottawa? He played a great deal of his career with the Senators and Dubas grew up cheering for the team. It certainly would make a splash for new ownership to bring back a legend from the team and one of the most successful regular-season GMs in the past five years.
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