Belfour, Panthers agree to one-year deal

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Eagle has landed in the Sunshine State.

Ed Belfour Belfour

The Florida Panthers on Tuesday signed Ed Belfour, the NHL's second all-time winningest goaltender, to a one-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 41-year-old Belfour became an unrestricted free agent when the Toronto Maple Leafs elected not to exercise the one-year option on his contract for 2006-07.

Belfour spent the last three seasons with Toronto but became expendable when the Maple Leafs acquired former Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft from the Boston Bruins.

Florida is a good spot for Belfour. Panthers general manager Mike Keenan has been seeking a veteran goalie since trading disgruntled Roberto Luongo to Vancouver last month.

"Ed is one of the most successful and talented goaltenders in the National Hockey League," Keenan said. "It was our goal to add more depth at the goaltending position and we feel we have sufficiently addressed the area with the acquisitions of Ed, Alex Auld and Craig Anderson during the offseason. These three players will provide us with a solid base in goal within our club, along with Jean-Marc Pelletier and David Shantz.

"Additionally, Ed's wealth of playing experience will be an added asset for our organization," he said.

Keenan coached Belfour when the Chicago Blackhawks reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1992. Belfour also went to the finals twice with the Dallas Stars, winning the championship in 1999.

A two-time Vezina Trophy winner, Belfour was 22-22-4 with a 3.29 goals-against average in 2005-06 and surpassed Terry Sawchuk for second place on the all-time wins list with a victory over the New York Islanders on Dec. 19.

Belfour's 457 wins are second only to Hall of Famer Patrick Roy's total of 551.

A five-time All-Star, Belfour has a career record of 457-303-115 with a 2.48 GAA in 905 games with Chicago (1988-96), San Jose (1996-97), Dallas (1997-2002) and Toronto (2002-06). His 75 shutouts are tied for first among active goalies with New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.