The Toronto Maple Leafs have an interesting game ahead of them on Monday. The Edmonton Oilers keep finding new ways to be the laughing stock of the National Hockey League, and rookie goaltender Garret Sparks will make his NHL debut. Joffrey Lupul, however, will sit this one out to rest an unspecified ailment.
Joffrey Lupul out tomorrow with injury. Has been bothered by nagging issue.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) November 29, 2015
Lupul has an extensive history when it comes to injuries. Take a look at this handy chart, which ignores a slew of other hardships suffered with Anaheim, Edmonton, and Philadelphia:
|Injury Start||Injury End||Injury Type||Games||Days|
Since his shoulder injury, suffered towards the end of his second season with the Leafs, Lupul has missed over a third of Toronto’s games. It’s a troubling situation, especially when the 32-year-old is in the midst of a five-year, $26.25 million contract. On a per-game-played basis, he’s being paid like an elite player, without the matching results.
That return on investment isn’t a huge problem for a team like the Leafs, who aren’t quite in their window of opportunity yet, but it makes Lupul that much harder of a sell to other teams when it comes time to move some pieces. Though, if you ask him, that time won’t come anytime soon.
“If the deadline comes and we’re in the mix, it’s hard to believe they would move out assets,” Lupul told TSN’s Darren Dreger this week. “I’m sure it will become a very popular topic.”
We’ll see how correct Lupul is in a few months, but for now, the focus is on him recovering from whatever this nagging issue may be.