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Cats Acquire Three: Belak, Kilger, Skrastins

Tuesday, 02.26.2008 / 1:34 PM / Transactions
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Cats Acquire Three: Belak, Kilger, Skrastins
Wade Belak
The Panthers acquired veteran tough guy Wade Belak and veteran forward Chad Kilger from the Leafs while trading Salei to Colorado for iron man defenseman Karlis Skrastins.

“Belak is a big, strong, hard hitting player who immediately adds toughness to our line-up,” said Martin. “In addition, he is a hard working, high character individual who fits the mold of the ideal Panther player.”

Belak, a 6-5, 220-pound right winger and defenseman, has been in Toronto the past 6 ½ years. In 303 games, he’s had six major fighting penalties and had averaged 4:02 a game. The Panthers gave up a fifth-round draft pick in 2008 for the 27-year-old Belak.

Chad Kilger
"I'm happy," Belak told TSN. "It's good to come down to a situation where, hopefully, I'll play a little more and contribute, and hopefully, get these guys to the playoffs."

Kilger, 31, has 10 goals and seven assists in 53 games this season. Kilger scored 17 goals in 2005-06.





Karlis Skrastins
The Panthers also traded defenseman Ruslan Salei to Colorado for Karlis Skrastins, a 33-year-old ironman of a defenseman who broke the NHL record for consecutive games played by a defenseman last season when he played in his 487th consecutive game. The Panthers also got a third-round draft pick in 2008. Skrastins has played in 43 games this season. He averages 18:02 per game and has a goal and three assists with 20 penalty minutes.


More to come.


Panthers Acquire D Wade Belak from Toronto & D Karlis Skrastins from Colorado
Cats D Ruslan Salei Dealt to Colorado Avalanche

SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager and Head Coach Jacques Martin announced today that the club has acquired D Wade Belak (BEE-lak) from Toronto in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In another move, the Panthers acquired D Karlis Skrastins (SKRAS-tihnz) and a third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft from Colorado in exchange for D Ruslan Salei.

Belak, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound defenseman has played in 425 NHL contests registering 29 points (8-21-29), while amassing 1,096 penalty minutes.  This year, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native played in 30 games with the Maple Leafs scoring one goal with 66 penalty minutes. Belak notched a career high 196 penalty minutes during the 2002-03 season.  He was originally drafted by the Quebec Nordiques with their 12th overall pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.

“Belak is a big, strong, hard hitting player who immediately adds toughness to our line-up,” said Martin. “In addition, he is a hard working, high character individual who fits the mold of the ideal Panther player.”

Skrastins, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound defenseman has played in 582 NHL contests scoring 22 goals with 74 assists and 271 PIM. He appeared in 43 games with the Colorado Avalanche this season scoring one goal with three assists and 20 penalty minutes. The Riga, Latvia native broke the NHL record for consecutive games played by a defensemen when he appeared in his 487th straight game on Feb. 8, 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers, eclipsing the mark set by Tim Horton (486 consecutive games set with Toronto, 1961-68). He was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators with their ninth choice (230th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

“Skrastins is an experienced defensemen who we are extremely pleased to have acquired, “said Martin. “He has the reputation of being a great shot blocker and will be relied upon to log key minutes on our defense.”

The Florida Panthers 2007-08 season is presented by the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Home to more than 185 events annually and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BankAtlantic Center is consistently a top 20 United States venue according to Pollstar. The BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year and is also the home of the Sinatra Theatre presented by BankAtlantic and two monthly South Florida publications: Unrestricted and Panthers Insider.

WADE BELAK’S CAREEER STATISITICS:
                                        --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
1996-97  Colorado Avalanche          NHL     5    0    0    0   11  --  --  --  --  --
1996-97  Hershey Bears               AHL    65    1    7    8  320  16   0   1   1  61
1997-98  Hershey Bears               AHL    11    0    0    0   30  --  --  --  --  --
1997-98  Colorado Avalanche          NHL     8    1    1    2   27  --  --  --  --  --
1998-99  Hershey Bears               AHL    17    0    1    1   49  --  --  --  --  --
1998-99  Saint John Flames           AHL    12    0    2    2   43   6   0   1   1  23
1998-99  Colorado Avalanche          NHL    22    0    0    0   71  --  --  --  --  --
1998-99  Calgary Flames              NHL     9    0    1    1   23  --  --  --  --  --
1999-00  Calgary Flames              NHL    40    0    2    2  122  --  --  --  --  --
2000-01  Calgary Flames              NHL    23    0    0    0   79  --  --  --  --  --
2000-01  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    16    1    1    2   31  --  --  --  --  --
2001-02  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    63    1    3    4  142  16   1   0   1  18
2002-03  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    55    3    6    9  196   2   0   0   0   4
2003-04  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    34    1    1    2  109   4   0   0   0  14
2004-05  Coventry Blaze              EIHL   42    7   10   17  178
2005-06  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    55    0    3    3  109  --  --  --  --  --
2006-07  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    65    0    3    3  110  --  --  --  --  --
2007-08  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    30    1    0    1   66
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

         NHL Totals                        425    8   21   29 1096  22   1   0   1  36
 

KARLIS SKRASTINS CAREER STATISTICS:
                                     --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1998-99  Nashville Predators         NHL     2    0    1    1    0  --  --  --  --  --
1998-99  Milwaukee Admirals          IHL    75    8   36   44   47   2   0   1   1   2
1999-00  Milwaukee Admirals          IHL    19    3    8   11   10  --  --  --  --  --
1999-00  Nashville Predators         NHL    59    5    6   11   20  --  --  --  --  --
2000-01  Nashville Predators         NHL    82    1   11   12   30  --  --  --  --  --
2001-02  Nashville Predators         NHL    82    4   13   17   36  --  --  --  --  --
2002-03  Nashville Predators         NHL    82    3   10   13   44  --  --  --  --  --
2003-04  Colorado Avalanche          NHL    82    5    8   13   26  11   0   2   2   2
2005-06  Colorado Avalanche          NHL    82    3   11   14   65   9   0   1   1  10
2006-07  Colorado Avalanche          NHL    68    0   11   11   30  --  --  --  --  --
2007-08  Colorado Avalanche          NHL    43    1    3    4   20
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         NHL Totals                        582   22   74   96  271  20   0   3   3  12
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