The noon waiver news has arrived: Aaron Dell has been claimed by the New Jersey Devils, while Jason Spezza has cleared as expected.

This was a claim we mentioned as a possibility yesterday on the site, with the Devils having priority over the Edmonton Oilers in the waiver order. The Leafs did have an insurance policy on their insurance policy in that offseason signing Michael Hutchinson will become the team’s third-string goaltender on the taxi squad with Dell packing his bags for New Jersey (for now).

The flexibility created with Dell moved off of the roster — as well as the option to toggle Jason Spezza back and forth to the taxi squad over the next 10 games or 30 days — means the Leafs are able to mix in different options now, including a lineup of 11 forwards and 7 defensemen that would allow them to dress Mikko Lehtonen, which appears to be the plan tonight vs. the Jets:

The urgency to move Lehtonen and Alex Barabanov onto the roster is definitely a real factor given the fact that each is earning an AHL salary on an entry-level deal while on the taxi squad, and each has a Euro clause in their contract.

Meanwhile, the team received good news from the MRI on Nick Robertson’s knee injury, as it is sounding more like a 4-6 week injury timeline after it was initially feared to be worse. This will still be an LTIR scenario for the Leafs as the absence will be longer than 10 games or 24 days.

The resulting cap and roster ramifications are complicated here. We’ll continue to see a cap dance from Assistant GM/cap guru Brandon Pridham in the days to come with players coming and going as he gets the LTIR situation in order, allowing the Leafs to maximize their space and accrued savings.

The long and short of is it that while the Leafs lost Dell in the process (which was something of an eventuality as the season played out), Spezza has cleared as expected and they now have the ability to be more flexible in their lineup and roster decisions, get Lehtonen and Barabanov onto the NHL roster when they wish, all while continuing to accrue daily space.