The Maple Leafs have begun their exodus of their current roster by moving Wade Belak (non-pool) to the Florida Panthers for a Fifth Round pick this summer in the Draft. It's certainly not a major deal, especially since Belak was going to be an Unrestricted Free Agent anyways in July. This doesn't open up a lot of room this season, as Belak is only making $675,000 on the year.
|To Florida||Age||Games||Points||Contract (July 1st)|
|Wade Belak, F/D||31||30||1||UFA|
|2008 5th Round Pick|
For the Panthers, they do add some grit to their line-up right away, but Belak certainly isn't going to be the guy that fills a gap left behind by the potential move of Olli Jokinen (Dieter). The benefit of Belak is that he can play both the wing and the blueline, neither very effectively, but at a pace that is still NHL worthy.
A fifth round pick for the Leafs should hopefully give the Leafs a chance to increase their stable size of young talent. The fifth may not be as good as a first or a second, but if the Draft is deep, it could very well be a good gamble down there.