Maple Leafs cut Belfour, Domi

Goaltender Ed Belfour and forward Tie Domi were cut loose by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday in a cost-cutting move.

Goaltender Ed Belfour and forward Tie Domi are officially former Toronto Maple Leafs.

As expected, general manager John Fergusondeclined to pick up the option Friday on Belfour's contract and bought out Domi's.

Both players will become unrestricted free agents Saturday at noon ET.

The 41-year-old Belfour will be paid $1.5 million over a two-year period, all of which will count against the salary cap.

The 17-year veteran had a disappointing 2005-06 season with Toronto, compiling a record of 22-22-4 with a 3.29 goals-against average.

"Eddie added a lot to the Toronto Maple Leafs and we appreciate all that he did for us," Ferguson said.

"At this stage we are taking a different direction, and we feel privileged to have had one of the game's great goalies play for the Maple Leafs."

On Dec. 19, 2005, Belfour defeated the New York Islanders to pass Terry Sawchuk for second place in all-time NHL victories.

A native of Carman, Man., Belfour went 93-61-15 with a 2.51 GAA in three seasons with Toronto.

The Maple Leafs acquired former Boston Bruins netminder Andrew Raycroft during last Saturday's NHL Entry Draft to fill the void left by Belfour.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin and Mikael Tellqvist are also under contract for next season.

Domi, one of the more popular players in Leafs history, had one year and $1.25 million US left on his deal.

Friday's decision could spell the end of the 36-year-old's NHL career. Domi had said previously that he would retire before agreeing to play with another team.

"The change in the game, the rules and the way it was going to be called, the transition game, speed — those things didn't play to his strengths," said Ferguson. "It's become more of a special teams game, which is not an area where he excelled or was relied upon."

Toronto's all-time leader in penalty minutes (3,753) was placed on waivers before the 12 p.m. deadline on Friday. If no one claims Domi, the Leafs would be obliged to pay him two-thirds of his remaining salary — or $825,000 — over the next two years.

Underthe new collective bargaining agreement, Domi's full salary will count toward Toronto's salary cap next season because he is over 35 and on a multi-year contract.

Domi finished last season with five goals and 16 points in 77 games.

With files from the Canadian Press