Roster cleanup begins

Kyle Wellwood (right) and Andrew Raycroft were placed on waivers by the Leafs. SUN MEDIA/Stan Behal

Kyle Wellwood (right) and Andrew Raycroft were placed on waivers by the Leafs. SUN MEDIA/Stan Behal

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:42 PM ET

The Maple Leafs began cleaning house in earnest yesterday when they placed centre Kyle Wellwood and goaltender Andrew Raycroft on National Hockey League waivers.

The deadline for other teams to claim both is noon tomorrow. Restricted free agent Wellwood was not expected to be offered a contract after he battled through a slump-ridden, injury plagued 2007-08 season, with just 21 points in 59 games. He was a minus 12.

The former 100-point OHL junior centre had 42 points in 48 games the year before. But he was a challenge to motivate for ex-Leafs coach Paul Maurice last season.

Raycroft was to be paid $2.2 million US this year, a raise of $200,000, but he had lost his starter's job after a so-so debut season with Toronto in 2007-08, a slow start last year and a terrible overall record of 2-9-5, once Vesa Toskala was established as No. 1.

If unclaimed, the Leafs can demote Raycroft to the AHL Toronto Marlies and use either Justin Pogge or Scott Clemmensen behind Toskala, though Clemmensen is at present an unrestricted free agent.

Also placed on NHL waivers yesterday by the Tampa Bay Lightning was goalie Marc Denis.


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