Maple Leafs Jason Spezza Pooled Money from Teammates for AHL Team

Jason Spezza has been one of the classiest players to ever play in the NHL and recently he showed his huge heart off the ice. The Toronto Maple Leafs forward is helping ensure that the AHL's Toronto Marlies players are getting paid in full this season amid the pandemic.

Spezza has led an internal initiative where he's spearheaded a 'player's pool' of money from other Maple Leafs teammates which is going directly to their AHL counterparts. Maple Leafs captain John Tavares confirmed the report after Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Jets and had this to say via Luke Fox of Sportsnet:

I have to give Spezz a lot of credit on this one. He kind of brought it to the forefront from the leadership standpoint, and the leadership group thought it was really important. I think we know - society as a whole, but certainly in our game - how tough a year it is for so many. So, within the organization, we wanted to make sure we try to take care of our own.

While the AHL's league minimum is $51,000, due to the shortened season and limited to no fans in the building, player's salaries have been reduced by 52%. Basically there's minor-league players playing hockey while making absolute peanuts.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe was quick to point out he wasn't too sure about all the details but he's not surprised something like this would come out of his dressing room:

It just, first of all, speaks to the character of our group, but I think it also just speaks to the recognition of the fact, through this pandemic, people in all walks of life are going through some tough times, and the hockey business as well at different levels. If you're a guy playing on an AHL contract, it's a challenge to get through this period. I don't know a whole lot about it, but not surprised that our players have the character that they do and step up.

Kudos to the Girl Dad-Jason Spezza for setting this up. Nothing but class, sir.

Photo credit: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports 

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