There seemed to be an underlying feeling since the moment Jason Spezza signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the writing was on the wall that it wasn’t going to work out. And, while the deal isn’t officially dead and while Spezza is still technically a Maple Leaf, growing sentiment around the NHL is that his time in Toronto is coming to an end.

More than a few media members, such as TSN’s Shawn Simpson are speculating Spezza’s era in Toronto is over as the Maple Leafs are set to waive the center. With Zach Hyman set to return from injury, Spezza doesn’t really fit in the Maple Leafs plans -— that is, you believe he ever did.

There’s a large contingent of fans and media who believe Mike Babcock never had much desire to use or time to play Spezza, who was often a scratch from the Maple Leafs lineup.

Spezza Is Getting the Shaft

If Simpson is right, and the Maple Leafs do waive Spezza, this is going to be a blemish for the Maple Leafs who aren’t exactly having a stellar season. After taking a hometown discount to join the team, Spezza badly wanted to help the Maple Leafs. He was willing to play anywhere, including the team’s fourth line, a place he didn’t really fit.

If and when the Maple Leafs waive him, there will be plenty of interested teams that consider adding him to their lineup. After all, he chose the Maple Leafs over a number of other available options in the offseason. At least a couple of those teams should be interested at his low price-point now.

One rumored club is the Ottawa Senators. GM Pierre Dorion has been public about his desire to add a forward and his interest in the former Senator. There is some debate about whether or not that love is returned by Spezza but The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan sees Spezza as an ideal fit as both a mentor and a player who can contribute throughout the lineup. 

Spezza isn’t exactly useless. In only nine games, he has a goal and three assists for the Maple Leafs. He’s a leader, a veteran with a seemingly good attitude and he can play up and down your lineup, even if he doesn’t offer what he once did.

Next: Edmonton Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi: He Ain’t Coming Back