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Stars, Leafs turn to waiver wire for help

Wednesday, 03.04.2009 / 1:42 PM / 2009 Trade Deadline

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

 
Trade deadline day isn't restricted to only trades. Some key players are also changing addresses via the waiver wire on Wednesday.

After signing a one-year contract this summer with the Anaheim Ducks, Brendan Morrison never could get untracked in Southern California. He'll get a chance in Texas as the Dallas Stars claimed the veteran center off re-entry waivers from the Ducks.

Morrison had only 22 points in 62 games with the Ducks this season, but the Stars could use him to fill a void created by injuries to centers Brad Richards and Toby Petersen.

"Brendan Morrison is a skilled veteran who brings valuable experience and character to our team for this playoff push," Stars Co-General Manager Les Jackson said in a statement. "He is a strong competitor who we are excited to add to our group."

Before making any trades, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was busy scouring the waiver wire. Burke picked up goaltender Martin Gerber from the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Eric Reitz from the New York Rangers.

Gerber is key for the Leafs now because No. 1 goalie Vesa Toskala will be shut down for the rest of the season due to lingering groin and hip problems. He'll have surgery next week, so Gerber, an unrestricted free agent after the season, fills a need until the season ends.

"We've been knowing what's going on for a while,'' Toskala said Wednesday morning. "That's it -- we made the decision together. We need to start healing (it) as soon as possible because recovery might take quite a long time.''

Reitz was traded from Minnesota to the Rangers on Jan. 29 and wasn't going to fit into coach John Tortorella's new system. He is currently out with a foot injury, but should return shortly. Reitz could potentially fill a void for the Leafs as well considering Tomas Kaberle injured his hand in Tuesday's loss to the New Jersey Devils and is listed as day-to-day.

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero confirmed that he picked up forward Craig Adams off re-entry waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Penguins subsequently sent forward Bill Thomas to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

Adams, 31, was a part-time player for the Hawks this season but adds some veteran depth to the Penguins for their playoff push. He will join the Penguins in Florida for Thursday night's game against the Panthers.

TSN reports that Gary Roberts (Tampa Bay Lightning), Aaron Voros (New York Rangers) and Miroslav Satan (Pittsburgh Penguins) all cleared waivers.

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game