Lamoriello: Future of Robidas, Lupul Unknown

Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello turned a few heads this season when he placed Stephane Robidas on Toronto’s long-term injury reserve, and, well, he never really came back. Was Robidas actually injured, or did the Leafs just not really want him around considering how dramatically his play has fallen off? Nobody knows for sure, despite what Toronto tells us. 

A little later in the year, Joffrey Lupul also found himself injured and shelved. Nobody really batted an eye to that, because Lupul missing significant amounts of time is kind of this thing. 

But now it looks like both could be gone for good.

Damn, son. I know we’re supposed to believe that Robidas and Lupul may not play next year because of recurring injury issues but for real, this is just Lou Lamoriello freezing them out, isn’t it?

Robidas has one more year remaining on his contract with a $3M cap hit. It’s not exactly a tiny contract, but burying it in the minors or stashing it on the injured reserve doesn’t seem too complicated. Robidas is also 39 years old, so if Toronto says he’s too banged up to play, most people would believe it.

But Lupul? Two more years on his deal at $5.25M. Once a legitimate top-six scoring threat, Lupul’s also been slowed down by injury after injury and his production is not what it used to be. If the Leafs can somehow find their way out from under this contract, it would give them an incredible amount of flexibility moving forward. Toronto, after all, doesn’t have as much cap space as they used to. Over the past few months, deals with Washington and Ottawa have seen the Leafs take on a lot of bloated, short-term salary in exchange for draft picks and prospects.

So, what do you think? Are Lupul and Robidas really done? Or is this Loophole Lou up to his old tricks?

  • silentbob

    It is pretty easy so see what is going on here. Lou will put Lupul and Horton on LTIR = 10M+ in cap space.

    Then boom sign Stamkos to a multi-year deal and you are sitting pretty. That’s called making LTIR lemonade out of lemons, Lou style

      • Harte of a Lion

        I’m glad I can entertain you Justin, have a great off season. Other than our differences between what to do about STAMKOS and Uncle Leo, I usually agree with your thoughts and opinions.

        Cheers!

      • Harte of a Lion

        Wow, are you actually a Habs fan? Sure, let’s give away a top four pick, a 2nd first round pick for the most over rated and over paid Offense only defenseman in the league. I am sure the Habs would LOVE to get out from under that $ 9.0 for the next forever price tag.
        the bloodclots business may have actually dampened the price that Stammer can demand, so not a bad thing for the Leafs or whatever team that signs him.
        If the cards fall correctly for the Buds we could see new faces such as Stammer, Vesey, Mathews along with Marner, Soshnikov, Hyman, Carrick and Brown elevate this team’s 2016 30th ranked shooting percentage (on a team that was 6th ranked in shots for). This along with some improvement in the pipes makes them an instant contender to make the post season…which is the next step on the road back to cup contender…

    • Harte of a Lion

      Yes to Tavares in 2018…

      With Tavares, Mathews, Nylander and Gauthier down the middle for the 2018/19 season, the Leafs are stacked. I see them moving Kadri and JVR before next season if the offers are there.

      Kadri has shown he has talent, drive and determination but is he the “guy” you want in the dressing room that the kids look up to? Perhaps one more “show me” contract where he learns to control his temper? I never doubted his talent but it’s his character that will be the determining factor for management.

      JVR’s no trade kicks in July 1 which will affect his value moving forward. Before his injury I felt he was becoming one of the Leafs best players. A 30/30 guy who can be responsible both ends of the ice however The Jets need to replace Ladd at a reasonable cap hit and it makes sense for a Trouba for JVR type of trade. Will the Leafs retain him after his current contract when he is 29 and might be seeking 7 million +?? Should they let him walk for nothing or flip him at deadline when they might be competing for the playoffs? The time to move him for the best return is now.

      As far as Lupul, he is a character guy who resurrected his career with the Leafs. He recovered from a major back surgery as well as sepsis as a complication from said surgery. Sepsis is about as sick as a human being can get without dying. Think about every cell in your body with an infection? I admire his determination but perhaps there might be no gas left in his tank. There is no shame in the IR or LTIR and he can cheer the boys from the press box.

      After the infamous game 7 collapse, I emphatically stated every player from that team was damaged beyond repair in this market and all must be moved before the team could ever take a step forward. Only 5 remain…Kadri, Lupul, JVR, Gardiner and Bozak. The makeover is nearly complete.

  • not_SorjeBalming

    What is really funny about the Robidas situation is that Nonis was so proud of signing him. Late last year when asked about the free agents signed by the leafs…he said he would definitely do the Robidas signing again because he brought so much to the team.

    This explains why he is now working as a scout for the ducks….

  • magesticRAGE

    I think the key to the 2016-17 is having a tight dressing room with no overpaid divas tainting the kids.

    So if you can’t move Lupul, then stash him. Robidas is done.

    The veterans the Leafs SHOULD keep around as fairly-paid and productive players are, 1. Brooks Laich 2. JP Parenteau 3. Leo Komarov. 4. Jonathan Bernier 5. Michael Grabner.

    Add vanReimsdyk, Kadri and possibly Holland as returning forwards and that leaves room for six kids – Nylander, Hyman, Brown, Soshnikov, Leipsic and…and… Auston Matthews and you have a nice mix of veterans, character, and talent. If you move Holland, there’d be room for Marner. Josh Leivo and Kasperi Kapanen are also top contenders.

    The back end’s top three are Gardiner, Marincin and Rielly (in alphabetical order, but also close to their value) with Carrick, Corrado and Harrington next in line.
    Loov, Valiev, Campbell and Neilsen could challengers for one of seven spots to start in October.

    I like Bernier to be given one more season, and perhaps used as deadline trade bait, because he has had some solid outings (even spectacular), along with some clunkers (which the Leafs might need for one more season.)

    The players I’d send packing by trade or just by not resigning – Bozak, Boyes, Hunwick, Greening, Michalek and Froese.

    And this barely takes into consideration all the draft picks the Leafs will make in June.

    For the first time since I can remember, I see some great things for the Leafs in the next few seasons.

    • Benjamin

      With Gauthier in the system no need for Holland and I would take Collen Greening over Grabner any day of the week. We do not need really fast guys that have stone hands, much better for a useful 3rd or 4th liner in Greening. Zaitsev will likely have a spot on the D next year along with Rielly, Gardiner, Marincin and Corrado, That will leave room for maybe 2 spots for prospects.

        • magesticRAGE

          Apparently, Babcock’s opinion that Gauthier is another year away. So I guess it doesn’t matter.

          Gauthier’s hands have improved a lot actually, but he’ll already be a defense first guy. Oddly enough though, the short time he was up, he had more 5vs5 chances that Holland did per 60 (eye test).

          • Harte of a Lion

            I watched Gauthier the first Marlies game of the year and he looked lost. His skating was subpar and he seemed to be a spectator during most of the game. I take in 2-3 Marlies games per month and I must say that he now he might be the most improved player in the forward group. His skating is far more fluid and his acceleration is amazing compared to a few short months ago. If he works at it all summer, especially on his first stride, with his strength he needs to be more explosive, it will no longer be his skating that keeps him out of the Leafs lineup but his inexperience. I agree with Babcock, 1 more year but he is going to make everyone who said he was a wasted pick, eat their words.

            2017 will be the Year of the Goat

    • magesticRAGE

      Greening, Michalek, and Hunwick are deadline fodder, they’ll be back.
      As for Kapanen, he has another year on the AHL before he’s ready, maybe a call up after the deadline.
      Campbell will be a Marlie, maybe pair him with Nielson, he’s a good mentor. I actually have Loöv ahead of Harrington. Harrington can give you minutes, he just doesn’t do anything with them, while Loöv has. I might not qualify him, Percy too.

  • Benjamin

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Lou is forcing Lupul out at this stage. Lupul gave an interview during his rehab this season where he was candidly contemplating life after the NHL.

    Big difference/jump between first thinking these thoughts to yourself, to talking about them with family and friends, to talking about them with your teammates and management, to finally opening up about them to the media.

  • Benjamin

    Firstly, Robidas was not on LTIR last year, just IR…..

    But I don’t even really see this as “freezing them out” per se because they are both seem to be suffering from chronic injuries, the kind where they would almost be guaranteed to re-injure.

    The above thinking seemed to start from when the team hired Dr Jeremy Bettle.

    So if his medical opinion is that they are unfit to play is that a lot different than what Horton is going through? and if so does that qualify them for LTIR? Will be interesting

  • G2

    I’ve got an idea. Why not just send an anonymous email to Bettman telling him what Lou’s up to. You could include the subtle April Fools article in that. You guys act like you can’t wait for the leafs to get punished for something. Why wait for Habs or Sens fans to expose Leaf malfeasance. Let’s just turn ourselves in.

  • G2

    HALLELUJAH!!!!! GOODBYE JOFFREY! YOU WON’T BE MISSED!!! now you can enjoy ltir and pursue off ice activities judgement free!! robidas has been a loyal soldier by keeping his mouth shut, voluntarily or not. now get rid of bozak and bernier! find a real #1 goalie!

  • Gary Empey

    Who is at fault when a GM signs a bad contract?Both Robidas’ and Lupul’s propensity to serious injury were well know before they signed.

    It looks like the Leafs are looking for both salary cap relief and roster spots. They may get it with Robidas. It is doubtful they will get both with Lupul.

    In 2013–14 season, Stephane Robidas fractured his right leg twice. The second time just above the first fracture. In July of that same year he signed for three years with Toronto. He completed one season with Toronto. After undergoing off-season, successful shoulder surgery, he was placed on IR with a knee/groin issue at the start of the season. It is conceivable his leg fractures could leave him a high risk to permanent damage.

    Joffrey Lupul on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. He has the two years to run on his limited no trade contract, (can submit a list of 14 teams he will accept trade to)

    In late February Lupul underwent “sports hernia” surgery. The recovery time is normally 3-6 weeks of therapy. Lupul should receive a clean bill of health in the early June.

  • Metal thrashin dad

    So the leafs management just turned lupul into 5.25M is cap space? What does this do to his trade value? Or is that only a valueable asset to team who can afford to pay him in real dollars and are against the cap? Also is this too valueable to the leafs to trade away?

    I have seen the idea of trade up from Pitt 1st, and I really like the sound of that considering there are a lot of quality D men in the 8-15 range (julevi, fabbro, sergachev and bean) I don’t think lupul contract alone would be enough to move them up that far, I think it’s a good starting point. That is, if lupuls cap relieve is as valueable as I assume it would be in todays hard cap NHL.