The 5 Best Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agent Signings in the Auston Matthews Era

Who were the Leafs most significant free agent signings that paid off in the past decade?
Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages
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Jason Spezza

After all the years tormenting the Leafs as a member of their arch rivals Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs managed to bring Jason Spezza home during the 2019 offseason on a one-year, $700,000 contract.

By signing such a team-friendly deal, the Leafs were hoping Spezza could bring his valuable experience and leadership to the team, as well as to help mentor some of the younger players on the roster as well in the process.

But surprisingly, not only was he able to guide the team to some level of success, he also managed to provide some much-needed secondary scoring in the Leafs bottom-six to balance their scoring attack.

As a result, Spezza was given a one-year extension after the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, as he essentially ended up playing a total of three seasons with the team.

Overall, he accumulated 31 goals and 49 assists for 80 points in 183 games played in his tenure with Toronto.

His value actually went beyond his capacity as a player, as Spezza eventually joined the management team for the 2022-23 season, continuing to provide his expertise at a higher level to the Leafs for an additional year.

He would ultimately leave the team though when GM Kyle Dubas was relieved of his duties following the 2022-23 season. Nevertheless, the significant contributions that he made during his years in the organization definitely converted him from being public enemy number one back in his time with the Senators to fan favourite in his combined four-year stint with the Leafs.