Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Panthers waive Wade Belak

How many Florida Panther fans will notice or care? From the Sun-Sentinel-

When the Panthers waived veteran tough guy Wade Belak on Saturday, it was part of the search for answers from a team that has three wins in 12 games.

But the move might have created one more question among Panthers players: Could they be next?

“It makes you take a look in the mirror,” center Brett McLean said. “If it happens to someone like Wade, who has done a really good job for us this year, it could happen to anybody.”

General Manager Jacques Martin and coach Pete DeBoer said waiving Belak was, in part, an effort to shake up a team off to a disappointing start. Martin said he didn’t know if any more statement moves were planned and said the team has an important week ahead that he will take “day by day.”


DeBoer hinted that waiving Belak was due to his lack of getting into fights when needed. His ice time had diminished and he played just three minutes Friday.

Belak played very little all year and when he was on ice, he was barely visible. In addition to acquiring Belak late in the 2007-08 season, Florida traded a draft choice for this defenseman. Johansson is back in Sweden now and Belak is waived. Those deals turned out so well. NOT!

I think the real reason Florida cut Belak was that DeBoer realizes the cats need to shore up their anemic offense and can’t afford to waste roster space on a non-scoring forward. Based on past history, I’m probably giving Panther coaches and management too much credit.

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