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UPDATE II -- Wade Belak on Waivers ... Quotes from a Ticked-off Wade ... Jacques Martin Talks

Belak_2 Just got home from Boston (thanks JetBlue!) and just got word that enforcer Wade Belak was placed on waivers today.

Belak signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason but hasn't seen much playing time this season.

Teams have until Monday at noon to claim him.

Just got off the phone with Jacques Martin who says the team needs to be accountable for its play and that he had left numerous messages for Wade starting "at 10 after 12. Then I called him an hour later."

Spoke with Wade and he's pretty upset about the whole deal. Says "they brought me down here to play,'' although, he's not playing.

Belak's minutes are way down, he only played six-plus minutes last night and didn't get in at all in the third period. He thinks this stems from him skipping optional skate Thursday in New Jersey (he thought he was playing that night instead of being a healthy scratch because of Kamil Kreps) and for not fighting and sticking up for Nick Boynton after he got beat up pretty good in his scrap with Milan Lucic.

''I tried to fight guys there and they refused to go,'' Belak said. “What do they want me to do, fight and take a penalty? We were trying to win that game. I'm not a rookie.''

Also: “They bring me down here to play, and I've seen my time dwindle from eight minutes to three shifts a game,'' Belak said. ''I'm not a liability. I'm tired of hearing how we need offense. Other tough guys play and are contributing. It's tough to fight from the bench.''

He seems pretty ticked off. So, too, did JM.

"Obviously, I'm not happy with the club's performance so far,'' Martin said Saturday night. "We need to change some things. Maybe that's a start. We need to perform better. We'll see what happens. We'll see if he clears.''

I asked JM why Belak since he doesn't play a whole lot as it is: "He's not playing a lot of minutes, not playing every game. This indicates we want to change things. It's part of the business. People have to realize things are too comfortable around here.

"This is part of the whole situation. I thought we turned a corner winning in Anaheim and Tampa. We lost to Detroit, but that's a great team. Then we won our first game [at Tampa] on the road [before losing two straight]. We need to play better, get more urgency in our game.

"I've been talking to other managers, trying to make different moves. You get to a point where we need to send a message to our players that we're not going to accept this. We need better performances.

"If we don't turn it around, we're going to have to do something.''

As far as Wade being sent to Rochester goes, JM would not rule that out.

"We'll wait to see what happens on Monday. If he gets picked up, I don't have to deal with it. If he doesn't get picked up, I have the flexibility to send him down. It's not a money issue. We're trying to get the team to understand they need more urgancy in their game.''

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What the hell for???????????????? This is INCREDIBLY stupid.

i don't know if it's just my frustration with how bad we play... but i think it's time for JM to go along with a couple players.

this team is the worst run franchise in sports

Don't like it but I can see that Boynton can take care of the fighting and the extra forward spot can be used for a scoring forward but since we don't have forwards that can score they will use it for McLean, Peltonen and other useless slugs.

Unbelievable!!!!!!

He is more useful, and paid less, than the losers like Peltonen, Zednik, Dvorak, and MacLean. But we keep those 4 losers.

I guess we need more players hurt because Martin is clueless.

JM constantly proves how much of an idiot he really is.

The season ticket holder base of 8000 will just keep on dwindling under these morons.

I am actually happy for Wade and I am sure he is happy as well. There is a chance that he is OUT OF HERE. If he is claimed off waivers he will run to the airport. Good for you Wade, you are leaving the worst sports franchise in North America.

Run Wade and forget about the Nightmare you just went through.

I guess that trade for Belak and Kilger for the draft ended up being a disaster.

JM still has a job, unreal!!

Even I cannot understand why this is being done. Why offer him a deal in the summer if you are not going to use him. Why he isnt used on the PP the way other big men are is baffling to me. If Chara can go infront of the net and be a 6 foot plus screen why the heck cant Belak. First JM misses out on signing Parrish for a mere $500 K and now he thinks its wise to wive Wade and his high end (sarcasm) $650........WTF???

Catfan, I understand your frustration about Belak, however, believe me when I say this. This is Wade Belaks best day of his life. He is leaving this horrible organization for good. Be happy for any NHL player who can escape from this pathetic product they call hockey here.

Hey Wade, GL and dont look back if you are claimed. Just do me one favor, talk to Richards and give him the scoop about how you really feel about the franchise.

Nice trade JM -- Kilger and Belak for a pick -- LOL

JM IS NEXT

JM makes another smart move, LOL.

Why would you sign him to a two year contract? Makes no sense. Same with Olesz. What an overpayment he is.

JM once again proves why he is a terrible GM. We sign a guy who may be the best fighter in the league to a reasonable contract and 20 games into the season we put him on waivers?!?!?!?!?!??!


Maybe, just maybe he is opening up a roster spot because he plans on making a trade.

Also, trade Bouw NOW! Why risk him to injury? Trade that overrated d-man ASAP! If he gets injured and we get nothing back for him I might be done with this franchise. This is possibly the worst run team on the planet.

***Blank Stare***

Maybe Kilger is coming back? ROFL

Damn, Belak sounds pissed! Maybe he'll knock some sense into JM for us loyal and frustrated Panther fans.

What a cowardly move for JM to not comment. Absolutely ridiculous. Some of the blame goes on Petey boy, he hasn't been playing him enough.

It seems that management has no concept of treating players well. This should help us attract more of the crappy UFAs we sign.

Damn, Belak sounds pissed! Maybe he'll knock some sense into JM for us loyal and frustrated Panther fans.

What a cowardly move for JM to not comment. Absolutely ridiculous. Some of the blame goes on Petey boy, he hasn't been playing him enough.

It seems that management has no concept of treating players well. This should help us attract more of the crappy UFAs we sign.

after I read the update all I can say is that this is the best day of your life Wade, you are leaving. BE HAPPY!!!!

Dont be mad just call the other players who have been here and enjoy playing hockey for a real NHL team. This is a good day WADE -- trust me

Are the panthers joking?

We have two solid lines of forwards who play with zero passion and this is their chickensh*t move? Waive the guy who gets 3 minutes a night!

JM is an idiot. And Alan Cohen is an even bigger idiot for letting a mediocore coach be the GM of an NHL team. Face it Martin coached the Senators for like 9 years...and took them to the playoffs the final 3 seasons...and came to Florida and missed out 2 years in a row. The guy sucks. If Cohen has one ounce of intelligence in his head, he would be calling Brian Burke and trying to bring him in as the new GM and fire that scumbag Martin.

Whats wrong with this team..is all Martin's fault. Trade away the most underated player in the league, and our only source of offense. Then tell me Nathan Horton who only plays hard when he wants to, Stephen Weiss who was supposed to have his break out season 4 years ago, and Olesz who's never scored more then like 35 points a season are gonna make up for the offense, when they weren't even around the previous seasons to help out!

Then sign Zednik, Mclean, Dvorak, all the same player...3rd line players AT BEST...

Keep Frolik up who isn't even scoring...over Shawn Mattias..

Keep Noah Welch on the roster over signing Jassen cullimore (thankfully he corrected that mistake)

THEN THEN THEN...keep Bouwmeester on the roster when its obvious he doesnt wanna play here! Trade him for Marian Gaborik! HELLOOOO!

Wow!!!!! Everyone is pissed off at JM...Never seen so many comments on a post on your blog George!!!!!!


Why is it that no matter who is GM, the same thing happens here!!!!!

We should be a draw for FAs not a black hole!!!!

Where would you rather be in January? Calgary or South Florida?

Need real management and soon, or we will lose this franchise!

JM should have waived Peltonen, Dvorak, McLean, Zenik. We should never have signed McLean to a 3-year deal in the first place. I have some questions:

Why resign Belak to a 2-year deal and then waive him if he hasn't really done anything wrong?

Why resign Olesz to this really long-term overpaid deal when you know he has a history of slacking?

Why do have have both Kreps and Campbell when they're both essentially the same player?

Why did we resign Kreps? What has he done for us to warrant a roster spot on this team?

Why is there no discussion of resigning David Booth to a long-term deal? The guy is an RFA next year and he is a rarity- he plays with passion and a sense of urgency.

Finally a player has the balls to speak up! Have Celine Dion sing the Titanic song as the theme song for the sinking fast Panthers! Anybody got a life raft?

Wow i can't stand this team anymore. There are so many other players on this team to waive. And they decide to waive the guy who does his job.....Worst franchise in North America strikes again.

Can't believe this -- JM should APOLOGIZE to Belak -- give peltonen an unconsitional release - trade dvorak for a 8th round pick (if we are lucky) send Mclean to the minors and bring up tanner glass (please!)

Wow. You people are, for the most part, pretty damn dumb. One guy is pissed we have Frolik here over Matthias-Matthias has a grand total of 4 point and is a -17 in the AHL . Matthias is not ready for the NHL. As for Belak, what has he done, lately? He simply isn't good enough for a regular shift and he hasn't been fighting-and if people are just unwilling to go with him, well, what's the point in keeping him? The team looks no more confident with Belak in the line up than without. The reason he is being waived instead of Dvorak or Peltonen Or Mclean or anyone else is because those can play regular shifts and have a much better chance of scoring. There's a reason deboer hasn't been playing belak. He's not fighting and he's not good enough for regular shifts. - liked him a lot, too, he's just seemingly unable to do his job, here. Block of text FTW

Yeah dude....real dumb. I want Mattias who has 2 goals in 4 NHL games (in the same game)...over Frolik who has 1 goal 1 assist in 16 NHL gamee (just scored his first).

Yeah dude...I better re-think that thought. Pretty damn dumb.

Mattias can't be any less ready then Frolik. At least Mattias plays a physical game too.

Your a moron.

Two flukey goals an NHL career do not make. Bottom line on MattHias (idiot) is that he is stinking it up in Rochester. In his game this year, he looked invisible. He is not ready for full-time NHL duty. There's no shame in that and most young players cannot transition flawlessly into the NHL. Are you ignoring Matthias' abysmal play in the AHL? Face it, Matthias is not ready and it's better he develops more in the AHL.

BTW, it's "You're", not "Your". Irony+

It probably is better that MattHias is kept in the AHL longer...you're right...but Frolik doesn't belong in the NHL that's for sure. He definatley belongs in the AHL for a while.

Hey thanks for the grammar correction Professor.

"Two flukey goals an NHL career do not make"

Go check your own grammar Yoda.

All that dead wood and they waive .... Belak???? Peltanin McLean and all the other jaque martin beauties stay ?? Wow we really have the worst GM in history....can't wait for the sth meeting explanations

so far look at all the trades this franchise has made since JM has been here, most we have received nothing or next to nothing.
Roberts for Welch we need a puck moving defenseman.
Vokoun for 3 draft picks in the deepest draft in a franchise that has no depth
Luongo and a draft pick for Allen
Jokinen for Ballard and Boynton
Belak and Kliger for draft picks again an organization with no depth giving away picks

don't even need to go into the free agents he has signed

then he starts the season with 2 natural centers on the roster.

after all these years he is just realizing that guys are too comfortable here.

The country club needs to end. The NJ game is a perfect example of the different styles.

NJ has forwards driving toward the net and they get shots from the slot, we shoot from the outside and never look dangerous then we are beating to the rebounds on both ends

It is the GM's job to get the players and JM the GM has failed

Other than Ballard, Booth and Frolik everyone else should be put on waivers and/or traded

The Panthers might challenge for a playoff spot in the AHL, their AHl team might make the playoffs in the ECHL

Cohen please sell the team for someone that wants to put a NHL hockey team on the ice

The biggest mistake was not trading Boumeester before the season started so the team could begin with scoring forwards in the line-up and get some wins, back then you could have got Carter, prospects and a draft pick from Philly but not now, now Carter is on fire and Boumeester is sleep-skating. The team ended the year with one line Booth/Weiss/Horton and splitting it up this year just cut down the goal production because the hope that others would contribute was a hope that was not based on reality. Ballard has turned out to be a good offensive D and Boynton is better than I expected but with Stillman injured the team is back to one line, a PK unit and far too many fourthliners on the 2ND and 3RD lines. I can't really blame PDB because he hasn't got much to work with but I can't help but think how good this team would have been if Panthers had traded Boumeester early on for some scorers.

TAVARES
HEDMAN

TAKE YOUR PICK.

Actually because its the Panthers, they will win 7 in a row in March and ruin their chances at a top 3 pick.

BOOK IT!

Also JM has been horrible as GM.

Wasted a pick for Kilger lol Kilger didn't play 1 second in a panther uniform

Zed/McLean/Pelt/Dvorak LOL HAHAHAHA thats all i have to say. wait I have this to say! 18 points combined (the four of them).

Hagman and Huselius both have 13 points each!

George -- can you speak to wade aghain and find out if he will be willing to get past this if for some (doubtful) reason he is not claimed.

I still can't believe that this is the guy that JM wants to use to make the example.

How about Bo, Horton and peltonen to OTT for Heatley and ruutu or (injured) fisher?

anyway, I truly hope Wade makes it though == what do you think?

I am selling my tickets, or giving them away! he is the only reason to go to these damn games!!! We want Belak with cow bell!

Wade Belak is the only player on this team with heart, giving him away just shows how stupid this organization really is!!! Lets Boycott the Panthers!!!

I am officially cheering this team to the worst record. The only thing that can save this inept franchise is a franchise player like Tavares.

I don't agree with all of Martin's moves and I think this was pretty stupid. We've been pushed around for the last 2 years sans an enforcer, then we go out and get one then waive him? Belak isn't the problem on this team. The problem is the lack of overall talent. As much as I like Dvo as an original Panther, he is by far the worst player on this team - turns the puck over, can't control the puck, etc. Peltonen is useless, Maclean and Zeds are underperforming, and so are guys like Weiss, Olesz and even Horton. The only guy I see out there giving it his all every night is Ballard (and Stillman before the concussion).

Our offseason was about reducing shots and shoring up the D. We're giving up as many shots if not more and we rely on Vokoun way too much. I agree with the poster that we blew 3 draft picks on Vokoun. We could have had Bryz for free or a guy like Toskala for less than Tivo. Desperate moves by a desperate organization...

If you put a decent product on the ice, people will come. I was a long-time season ticket holder before moving out of state, but I would have NOT renewed my tickets anyways. After 8 years of junk I had enough. But I do remember the Bure days when the arena had way more people and there was a buzz about the Panthers. There's zero buzz anymore b/c it's the same thing every year no matter who is coach or GM.

I do put part of it on Cohen. If this team could go after a Scott Gomez type free agent, maybe we could turn things around quicker. But we're never going to be able to do that so u see the 6 year deals in the hopes that these young guys become studs at lower-than-market-rate contracts. That's a different mentality than the former panther philosophy of trade them when they become good and expensive, but you are going to hit and miss on some.

Horton is a scorer - pure and simple. He's not a playmaker and he's lazy at times, but you need to put him next to a playmaker to set up his wicked wrister. Weiss is never going to be a top line guy. He can be a good 3rd center/decent 2nd line center, but again he can't be a consistent playmaker when he's getting constantly knocked off the puck. He needs the talent alongside him, just like Horton. It gets repetitive with this team - we need playmakers. Frolik could be just that hence why he's still here. He may not be scoring oodles but he's fast, works hard, and adds a jolt offensively. I think it's only a matter of time before he puts it together. Remember the kid is young and has never played professional hockey.

There is yet another story that hasn't been published down here - that Martin was trying to shop a package of Belak, Dvorak and Olesz in return for a top center and no one is interested. Toronto Sun as a good comment on that plus criticism of the Olli deal, wondering why Martin didn't try to get some offensive talent from Phoenix instead of defense when offense was a bigger need once Olli is gone.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2008/11/23/7505376-sun.html

The Belak waiving has all the marks of a GM that is trying to deflect blame from his own poor job by pinning on someone else. This year it's Belak's fault, last year it was Olli's fault. The real fault lies with Martin who idiotically thought that going into the season relying on the likes of Dvorak, McLean, Peltonen and Zednik for creating offense was a good strategy.

Martin is a total spiteful joke.They let our AHL enforcer slip away on waivers and now this??Cohen is a meally mouthed coniver-I was there when he stated that this team will never be without an enforcer and now this!Shawn Matthias sits in the AHL and we need center help that can win faceoffs!Worst ownership in sports here folks.Watch Martin trade Bouw for a defenceman and a 2nd round draft pick.Great talent scouting by picking Murphy the rag doll.We sould all wear bags over our heads on Monday with fire Martin on them.No way I renew next year as I am seeing real hockey played on NHL center ice.

The problem with this team is just lack of talent to be a playoff team and Martin is a resentment breeder.Look at Jokinen.Martin loves to blame rather than seeing the team is trying to the best of their ability.The only way you win with a bunch of average players is by positive motivation and Martin wont do that.Wouldnt be surprised if Olesz has given up after he found out he was about to be traded.Spiting people and character assinations are Martins trademarks.

Martin is bargaining from an extreme position of weakness - in the search for a center and also in any deal involving Bouwmeester. The only solution is for the team to fire Martin and hire someone who is not only a better deal maker, but also a better judge of talent.

Just gotta believe that Olli and Louie are laughing themselves silly and thanking their lucky stars that they got outta here.

This is such a BIG mistake.We need a proven enforcer/physical presence to keep the younger guys not only protected but to show them HEART!!! Wade came from a team that eats,breaths,HOCKEY and I finally thought we had someone and they do this!! He not only has great character but contributes to the community which leads to more fan support.I am truly ticked off as I know Wade personally.You will hear me at the next game on MONDAY!!
A WADE BELAK BELIEVER

Another inept move, putting Belak on waivers?? Just like JM to blame a guy who wasn't given much of a chance and who plays an important part as enforcer, which we need! Teams will play rough shod on us without him. Boynton is ruff and will stand up to anyone as witness against Boston, notice he didn't go after Belak, chicken crap.
We're in dire straights. Owner who is a conniver and a liar, a GM not qualified both in personality and assessing player talent, and a coach who seems like a deer in the headlights. Vic said it right we don't have the talent, we don't have the commitment from the owner, we don't have a hockey town... maybe it's time for wearing the paper bags on are head that say fire Martin!

Ahhh poor Wade. I had the pleasure of watching him ply his trade up here in TO for a few years. He can't fight! He doesn't lose on account of his size but he hardly ever wins.
Having said that,he is a good skater and good team guy. He was drafted 7th overall by Calgary! Give him 15 minutes a game for a few weeks,he might actually have more to show than just goonery (Im thinking Kent Manderville here). I doubt it but,7th overall? Kid must have some skills somewhere in that lanky frame.

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