The Maple Leafs have signed a pair of centers, inking veteran Jason Spezza to a one-year deal worth the league minimum of $700K and Nick Shore to a one-year deal worth $750K according to James Mirtle of The Athletic.
The Toronto native has seen his offensive output drop considerably over the last couple of seasons. He had just eight goals last season (for the second straight year) with Dallas and averaged only 13:16 of playing time per game, hardly a great return on a $7.5MM AAV.
However, Spezza’s skills at the faceoff dot certainly haven’t eroded as he once again was well above the 50% mark, something that has been the case in every season. His 58.2% success rate last season was actually a career-high and would have ranked first among Toronto regulars down the middle.
It’s likely that he’ll be deployed in a bottom-six role with the Leafs as they look to reshape their group of depth forwards. While that doesn’t bode well for him turning things around offensively, he’ll give them a lot more stability than they’ve had from their depth centers in recent seasons. Spezza ranked 36th on our Top 50 UFA Rankings where we predicted a one-year deal to Toronto.