Canada

Maple Leafs give Jason Spezza one-year contract extension

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza (19) reacts after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

Jason Spezza received a 38th birthday present from the Maple Leafs on Wednesday – a one-year contract extension.

There was even a slight raise, up $50,000 to $750,000 as Spezza continues to take the NHL minimum to remain in his hometown and help Toronto’s tight salary cap situation.

Spezza has been value for money in his two previous seasons. He played in 54 regular season games in 2020-21, recording 30 points. With 970 career points (351 goals and 619 assists) in 1,177 games, he has a shot at 1,000 in the coming full 82-game schedule.

Spezza also has 75 points in 92 playoff games between the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and Toronto. This past season, he continued to play a number of key roles, penalty killing, power play, 5-on-5 and defensive zone face-offs.

lhornby@postmedia.com

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