The man they call "Vintage" is staying put.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed Jason Spezza to a one-year contract, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. Spezza's contract will be worth $750,000, marking the third consecutive season that the Toronto-native has signed for league-minimum to join his hometown team.
Spezza's new deal would be considered a bargain even if he were playing like someone his age. But the 37-year-old is coming off a season during which he seemingly found the fountain of youth, finishing the 2021 campaign with an impressive 10 goals and 20 assists for 30 points in just 54 games. More impressively, perhaps, might be how Spezza managed to rack up those dazzling offensive numbers despite averaging a mere 11:02 in ice time per game. And for a team that lacked secondary scoring over the past few seasons, having a player who scores at a top-six rate while logging bottom-six minutes is a definite luxury, especially when he comes in at the lowest price you can legally pay him.
Sitting at 970 career points, Spezza now has the chance to reach the 1,000 point barrier in what will be his 19th NHL season, and likely in front of his friends and family, too.
Maple Leafs fans might be in for an offseason filled with bad news. But getting Spezza back may soften the blow a bit.