Toronto Maple Leafs claim Richard Panik off of waivers

The now former Lightning winger will play in Toronto

We knew it was possible, even likely, but the news came today that the Richard Panik did not make it through the waiver process unclaimed. He'll go to Toronto, an in-division rival.

The long and short of it is that Panik, while he didn't outplay the competition in Tampa Bay's training camp is still able to contribute to an NHL team, especially if the right role can be found. Edmonton Oilers blogger Jonathan Willis talked yesterday about the value that Panik might provide. If the Lightning didn't have such a crowded forward corps right now, it's possible he'd be on the roster again this season.

For those wondering, the Lightning receive nothing in exchange for a player picked up on waivers. It is likely that the front office attempted to find a trade partner who would give some value for the winger before risking waiving him. Clearly, however, that didn't materialize.

In this case should the Leafs decide to waive Panik at some point later in the season in order to send him to their AHL affiliate (the Toronto Marlies) the Lightning would get the right of first refusal. However, they'd have to waive him themselves to send him to the Syracuse Crunch (see Hall, Adam).