The Toronto Maple Leafs took another step toward rebuilding on Tuesday, placing forward Kyle Wellwood and goaltender Andrew Raycroft on waivers.
If Wellwood is claimed on waivers, his new team could retain his rights by giving him a qualifying offer and he would not become a free agent. If Raycroft is claimed, the new team would pick up his contract and salary.
Should Raycroft clear waivers, the Leafs would be left with two options. They could put him on re-entry waivers, where if he is claimed, the Leafs would pay half his remaining salary and have it count against the cap. Or they could send him to the minors, pay him his full salary and not have any of it count against the cap.
''We put them on waivers, we'll take it one step at a time and we'll see what happens tomorrow,'' Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher told The Canadian Press.
Last season, Wellwood struggled through an injury-riddled campaign as he dealt with a nagging groin injury. Tabbed as a second-line player out of training camp, the playmaking centre finished with just 21 points in 59 games.
In 2006-07, Wellwood missed 33 games after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Raycroft was acquired from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2006-07 season for goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask and went on to set a franchise mark for wins with 37 that season.
But the Belleville native took a backseat to Vesa Toskala early last season and never regained the starting role. He finished the year with just two wins in 19 appearances. Raycroft is scheduled to make $2.2 million in the upcoming season.