Toronto Maple Leafs Jason Spezza Retires

Jason Spezza suspended; Jason Spezza retires
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It’s been a long career as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza retires after 19 seasons. News of retirement was made public on Sunday morning. Spezza immediately moves into a front office role with the Maple Leafs. He’ll be a special assistant to general manager Kyle Dubas

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Jason Spezza Retires After 19 Seasons

The 38-year-old scored 12 goals and handed 13 assists for 25 points in 71 games this season with the Maple Leafs. It was the most goals for the hometown player in his three seasons with Toronto. He also had a Corsi for of 55.2 and relative Corsi of 1.5. The Toronto native also recorded an assist in five Stanley Cup Playoff games this season.

Spezza played for the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and the Maple Leafs in his 19-year NHL career. He amassed 363 goals and 632 assists for 995 points in 1,248 games. Ottawa drafted him second overall in the 2001 NHL Draft.

The two-time NHL All-Star (2008, 2012) ranks in the top 100 on the NHL’s career list for games played (tied for 96th), assists (80th) and points (94th). Spezza served as the Senators’ captain for the 2013-14 season.

“Hockey has been my life’s work and to be able to come home to Toronto and bookend my playing career where it started was incredible,” Spezza said in a statement. “To the fans — in Ottawa, Dallas, Toronto and across the league — your impact on the game is immeasurable. I’ll never be able to replicate that feeling of stepping onto the ice to the roar of the crowd, but it is something I’ll always remember. Thank you.”

What It Means

Spezza became the veteran leader the Leafs looked to in his three seasons with the club. He took less money to play for his hometown team and chase that elusive Stanley Cup. His leadership was probably the biggest thing he brought to the room.

Toronto may try to add another veteran or go low-cost youngster to fill the role, but it will hard to replace Spezza’s leadership qualities.

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