Yesterday the Leafs apparently informed Stephane Robidas that he wouldn’t be in their plans this season, and then he very conveniently became injured, leading to speculation the team would be pushing him to injured reserve to maximize their cap savings instead of sending him off to the Ricoh and only recouping $100K. Today they made things official by placing the 38-year-old on the IR list, and now we have to wonder if he’ll stay there for the remainder of a contract that pays him out $3-million in each of the two upcoming seasons.
We’ve been joking about how this is a classic Lamoriello move, since he’s widely known as the king of cap circumvention, but there’s obviously some truth to it – you don’t get a rep like this for no reason. And if other teams find this whole situation fishy, they could send the league to figure out if this injury is for real, or if the Leafs are being shady. As war-on-ice pointed out yesterday, in order for Robidas to be placed on long-term IR, a team doctor will have to sign off on the extent of his injury. That part obviously shouldn’t be a problem since, you know, the doctor works for the team. But the league is free to dig into it further.
LTIR would have to be signed off by team physician, Bettman could investigate if he felt they were gaming the system pic.twitter.com/OFYeZq9hGS
— WAR On Ice (@war_on_ice) October 5, 2015
It would be the most beneficial to the Leafs for Robidas to be able to go the way of guys like Pronger and Savard, or even their own Nathan Horton, and simply collect a paycheck while sailing off into the sunset, cap-hit free. I think it would also be the best scenario for Robidas as well, since if he was to fight to play out his career, he’d likely have to do it while riding the bus through the AHL schedule, and I doubt he wants to do that at this point.
Basically, the way it appears right now, this is a win on both sides, so I’d be surprised to hear much about it from Robidas’ camp. But there’s no doubt this is far too convenient, to the point of being somewhat hilarious, and if the league sees it that way, we could have some very interesting follow-up stories to come in the next little while. Then again, when have they ever stopped Lou before?