Spezza re-signs with hometown Maple Leafs at league minimum for 3rd straight season

Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan sounded an optimistic tone about the team's future Wednesday as the players searched for answers after coming up painfully short in the playoffs despite a strong regular season.

38-year-old Toronto native registered 10 goals, 20 assists in 54 contests last campaign

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday that they have re-signed 38-year-old forward Jason Spezza at the league minimum$750,000 US for the 2021-22 campaign. (Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press )

Jason Spezza will once again be sporting blue and white next season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday the 38-year-old forward has re-signed with his hometown team at the league minimum US$750,000 for the 2021-22 campaign.

Spezza registered 10 goals and 20 assists in 54 contests for Toronto during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season before adding five points in the Leafs' stunning first-round playoff loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Selected second overall by the Ottawa Senators at the 2001 NHL draft, Spezza has put up 970 points (351 goals, 619 assists) in 1,177 regular-season games to go along with 75 points (28 goals, 47 assists) in 92 playoff outings.

The two-time all-star will be suiting up for the Leafs at the league minimum for a third straight season. According to the website capfriendly.com, Spezza has earned more than $89 million in his career.

The Leafs need bargain contracts in their bottom-6 forward group with nearly half the team's wage bill — the NHL salary cap will sit at $81.5 million for the foreseeable future because of the COVID-19 pandemic — earmarked for Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

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