Toronto Maple Leafs: Jason Spezza giving himself a chance to clear waivers

Jason Spezza #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Jason Spezza #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Seeing the news that Jason Spezza was placed on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs likely came as a surprise but his response to the news shouldn’t be.

Spezza’s agent told Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston that if the veteran centre was claimed off waiver, he would retire instead of reporting to a new team. You can’t blame Spezza but have to think the Leafs had a conversation with the veteran before placing him on waivers?

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It seems like Toronto figured the chance of Spezza getting claimed would be less likely but Aaron Dell will probably get picked up considering how many teams need goaltending…knock knock…Edmonton. This seems like a calculated risk by the Leafs who don’t have a lot of roster flexibility with the injury to Nick Robertson.

Now, Toronto needs to find a way to replace Robertson and cannot call someone up on an emergency basis so that’s why Spezza and Dell were waived. Since it is rather unlikely to see Spezza get claimed they can keep him on the roster and still have options once Robertson is placed on LTIR.

There is going to be a lot of maneuvering done by the Leafs over the next little while to make sure they can maintain their lineup to the best of their ability. Who gets called up will be an interesting scenario since Alexander Barabanov hasn’t looked great in the games he’s played which means it would either be Adam Brooks or Travis Boyd getting the call.

Spezza made it a point to come to Toronto at $700,000 which provided the Leafs with the flexibility it needed to address other areas. While he hasn’t looked great this season, you have to look at how Spezza is being utilized which at the moment is as a faceoff specialist and sparingly on the second power play.

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Did you get caught off guard by the Spezza move? Do you think any team would try to claim him? Let us know in the comments below.