This will be Spezza's second year with the Maple Leafs, having signed an identical one-year veteran minimum deal last off-season to play for his hometown team. The 37-year-old Toronto native, who spent the first decade of his career with the Ottawa Senators followed by five years with the Dallas Stars, made it clear earlier this year that he wanted to remain in Toronto.
“I definitely feel like I have game left and there is nowhere I’d rather be than play another year here in Toronto,” Spezza said back in the spring, via NHL.com.
Spezza proved to be a strong fit with the Maple Leafs, slotting in at various bottom-six spots including time at centre as a solid face-off man, and was also a valuable veteran presence both on the ice and in the locker room. In 58 regular season games in the shortened 2019-20 season, Spezza registered nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points -- numbers that had him on pace for his best statistical year since 2016-17, after which his point tallies dropped dramatically in Dallas.
In 1,123 career NHL regular season games, Spezza has registered 341 goals and 599 assists for 940 points across 17 seasons since being selected second overall by the Senators in 2001.