Spezza and Dell on Waivers

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Spezza on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo: Courtesy of Alex Brownscombe - CP

After the the loss of youngster Nic Robertson to injury on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs placed two of their players on waivers Sunday. According to Chris Johnston from Sportsnet reported goalie Aaron Dell and veteran forward Jason Spezza were placed on waivers. In addition, other notable players on placed waiver were Alex Biega from the Detroit Red Wings and Joel Kellman from the San Jose Sharks. The Calgary Flames were also active on the waiver wire placing big forward Brett Ritchie on waivers. They had signed him earlier today for a year.

The move made by the Toronto Maple Leafs stemmed from the injury suffered by rookie Nic Robertson. He is expected to miss some playing time. Call it cap juggling, in this strange year. With Toronto near the cap space and not having enough cap space to recall a suitable taxi squad player (other than Travis Boyd), the Leafs were faced to create cap space. facing compliance, the Toronto Maple Leafs had no choice to put the two players and risk losing them to another team. Dell has been slotted as the third goalie as part of the Toronto taxi squad.

With the goalie market pretty much settled, the risk of losing Dell is slim. Discussions took place where Toronto was contemplating the new emergency recall rule. This rule, as pointed out by The Athletics’ James Mirtle is restricted only in a case or multiple cases of COVID-19. For Toronto, they can expect of losing Aaron Dell. Aaron Dell was acquired by Toronto in the off-season. Last season, he played behind a weak Shark’s blue line and struggled by posting a 12-15 record combined to goal against average of 3.01 and a save percentage of .907. Brought in a a safe measure in the event starter Frederik Andersen or back up Jack Campbell has problems or suffered an unexpected injury. It is expected Dell could be picked up by the by either the Edmonton Oilers or New Jersey Devils.

Spezza could retire if on waivers a second time

The Spezza move is somewhat surprising. It is possible the Toronto Maple Leafs knew by Placing him on waivers, he wouldn’t report to his new team. Some teams may pick up the veteran forward. Johnston also stated, Spezza is not interested playing another team if picked. Spezza selected Toronto to be close to his family and heading somewhere else wouldn’t be acceptable. Jonas Siegel from the The Athletics’ mentioned Spezza was ready to retire last summer but the Leafs were insistent on bringing him back for another year. Spezza, 37, So far this season, he played all three games for the Leafs in a fourth-line role, recording one assist.

Update: Rick Curran, Spezza’s agent told Sportsnet insider Chris Johnston’s that Jason Spezza would retire if he is claimed by another NHL team.

As for Alex Biega, who’s accustomed to being placed on waivers was slotted in the sixth or seventh spt on Detroit blueline. The 32-year-old played 49 games with the Detroit Red Wings and assisted on 3 goals. He would represent an excellent taxi squad candidate but he has not played this season yet for the Wings. Finally, Joel Kellman played in the first game of the season for the Sharks and was taxi squad scratch in the second game of the season for the Sharks. In 31 games, during the 2019-2020 season, Kellman who’s 26, scored seven points. For Brett Ritchie, who signed for a year earlier today, it is seen as a cap move, but nonetheless, he could also get claimed by noon tomorrow. Ritchie split his time between providence and Boston last year with 27 games with Boston and another 12 with providence. Ritchie scored 6 points with the Bruins and 4 points in providence (AHL).

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