The Toronto Maple Leafs just got a lot younger on paper. According to various reports, the blue and white have opted to shut down 37 year old defenceman Stephane Robidas, to allow him to get surgery performed on his shoulder.
While the Leafs haven’t come out and said that this shoulder issue is related to the injury that he suffered in a late December game against the Philadelphia Flyers, it would be safe to say that there is a connection. At the time, Robidas wrote the injury off as insignificant. “Just a little injury, but it’s nothing,” Robidas told reporters. “No big deal.”
I’m not a physician or privy to exact information on Robidas’ injury, but if he really played for two and a half months before the team felt surgery to be the right option, I’m a little bit concerned. It’s not like Robidas has been particularly good for the team; putting up very poor possession numbers despite being handed extremely favourable matchups, both in terms of competition and in terms of zone situations. He hasn’t been producing points, either. Overall, the Leafs haven’t really benefited from his play.
To make matters worse, Robidas is 37 years old and in year one of a three year contract. The fact that he’s on such a contract is already questionable enough, but having an injury prone player play through what seems to be a relatively serious injury? If something happened that made it worse, it could have very well have been career ending. Because Robidas was signed after he turned 35 years old, his cap hit would remain if he decided to retire.
To me, it seems like playing him through this was a high risk, no reward move. Once again, though, I’m not a doctor and I’m not privy to all of the information. This may not be connected to the incident from December at all. Or, if it was, they may have known that there was no risk in playing him through it. Or, it didn’t appear to be that serious until recently.
Either way, he’s done now. The Leafs now will hope that he comes back from it fully recovered, similar to Joffrey Lupul when he had a similar scenario in 2011/12.