Spezza will retire if another team claims him off waivers, his agent Rick Curran told Johnston. The 37-year-old previously made it clear that he wants to end his career with the Leafs.
"He'll simply retire," Curran told Johnston.
Toronto opted to begin the season with Dell on the active roster as a third goalie alongside Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell. The club signed him to a one-year, $800,000 contract during the offseason.
Spezza played in all three Leafs games this campaign, averaging 7:44 of ice time per game and registering one assist. He won all 10 faceoffs he took during Saturday's contest against the Ottawa Senators.
Toronto is facing a cap crunch due to Nick Robertson's injury in Saturday's game. The rookie forward is expected to miss some time, which means the Leafs are likely waiving Dell and Spezza to create cap space to recall another forward.
A number of goalies were claimed off waivers in the last week, including Anton Forsberg and Troy Grosenick. In 33 games with the San Jose Sharks last season, Dell recorded a .907 save percentage and 3.01 goals-against average.