Chad Kilger has been granted a personal leave of absence.
Kilger missed five games for that same reason while with the Maple Leafs earlier this year.
Now, less than one day after he was dealt to the Florida Panthers for a third-round draft pick, his new team has excused him for the same reason.
Coach Jacques Martin was concerned that immigration issues would keep both Kilger and Wade Belak out of the lineup for last night's game against the Maple Leafs at the Bank Atlantic Center.
Those were cleared later in the day, allowing Belak to suit up against his former teammates.
BELAK BUSTS OUT
Belak, who was acquired for a fifth rounder Tuesday, said he spoke again to former teammate Eddie Belfour, who yesterday offered his south Florida residence to the Belaks.
Belfour is playing hockey in Sweden this season.
"He called me again," Belak laughed. "I spoke to his real estate agent. Hopefully I get the keys to his Corvette too."
With interim general manager Cliff Fletcher reviewing all members of the organization, coach Paul Maurice was asked about his own future.
"You don't worry about it," Maurice said yesterday. "But you are aware of it. This is not a job security business. And when you've had a season like we've had at the three-quarter pole, anything is possible.
"In Carolina it only became an issue when we would be outside of our market. There was only one beat writer and when he wrote (about the possibility) it would be picked up by out-of-town reporters. Funny thing is, every time he came out with it we would do better. I think he did it to fire us up."
KEEPING THE FAITH
With the Leaf having traded away three players Tuesday, remaining Leafs like Jason Blake were singing the company line about still aiming to make the postseason.
"Changes needed to be made," Blake said. "You never like to see teammates leave but we just have to go on.