Richard Panik Claimed on Waivers by Toronto Maple Leafs


Sep 25, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right winger

Richard Panik

(71) passes the puck while being defended by Nashville Predators defenseman

Joe Piskula

(47) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Panik didn’t make it to Syracuse

The Tampa Bay Lightning forward, who the team placed on waivers Wednesday, has been claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Bolts placed Panik on waivers to get down to the mandatory 23-man roster for the start of the regular season.

“We’re keeping 23 guys that believe give us the best chance of winning games this year and right now he’s 24,” Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Wednesday.

Panik was up and down with the Lightning last season. He recorded 13 points (3+10) in 50 games and appeared in two playoff games. In 75 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, he has amassed eight goals, 14 assists and 25 penalty minutes.

One of Panik’s problems was consistency. At times he showed flashes of brilliance but would also disappear for periods of time. The Lightning had hoped by sending him to Syracuse he would build on his consistency.

Also not helping Panik’s cause was the strong preseasons of Brett Connolly, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Panik will likely walk straight into the Leafs’ line up. The Bolts play Toronto four times this season, the first meeting coming on Nov.20.

The Lightning drafted Panik with the 52nd pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft.