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.
Lou Lamoriello says Stephane Robidas’s career could be over. Says he doesn’t know whether Robidas or Joffrey Lupul will play next season.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) April 10, 2016
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?