Maple Leafs deal Belak to Panthers

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward-defenceman Wade Belak to the Florida Panthers for a 2008 fifth-round draft pick ahead of the NHL's 3 p.m. deadline on Tuesday.

Interim GM Fletcher acquires 2008 5th-round pick for tough guy

Tough guy Wade Belak will be switching dressing rooms for the Toronto Maple Leafs' visit to Florida on Tuesday night against the Panthers.

Interim general manager Cliff Fletcher traded the forward-defenceman to Florida for a fifth-round pick in this summer's NHL entry draft.

Belak, who is earning $625,000 US this season, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The 31-year-old had one goal in 30 games this season, his seventh with the Maple Leafs.

This will be the fourth NHL stop for Belak, who entered the league in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche.

Drafted by Colorado 12th overall two seasons earlier, Belak was dealt to Calgary in a five-player trade on Feb. 28, 1999.

The Saskatoon native was claimed off waivers by Toronto on Feb. 16, 2001, and collected 24 points in 318 games as a Maple Leaf.