Remember the offseason controversy surrounding Toronto Maple Leafs veteran Joffrey Lupul? No? Back in September, Lupul called out the Leafs and accused them of being “cheaters” after insinuating that the team had rigged his failed physical testing. This got the Leafs in a bit of hot water with the league and it was alleged that the Leafs were abusing the league’s policies regarding injured players and the salary cap. Essentially, the Leafs didn’t want Lupul on the team so they faked a failed physical to get out of their commitment to him. Pretty shady.
Well yesterday Lupul made headlines for all the wrong reasons again as he took to the airwaves are effectively announced his retirement. On a podcast episode linked from his Instagram account, Lupul describes himself as a “retired hockey player” and says he’s coming to terms with the fact he "is not playing" hockey and "probably won't be going forward."
While this news may not exactly be surprising, it could get the Leafs into more trouble with the NHL. If Lupul is retired, as he claims to be, that Leafs could be forced to deal with a messy salary cap situation. If however, Lupul remains on the IR until July 1st, he’ll walk away from the team as an unrestricted free-agent with no further incident.
"Now that I'm not playing, I tell myself I miss certain things, but I'm thinking about the best moments," said Lupul on the Member Guest podcast with Linkin Park bass player Dave Farrell, PGA golfer Brendan Steele and videographer Mark Fiore. "I'm not thinking about multiple surgeries and breaking bones and the bad parts, or the tough parts. Injuries and things like that are all part of it.”
Neither Lupul nor the Leafs have ever made a public comment about Lupus’s future with the team, leading to the belief that Lupul’s career is in fact over. His $5.25 million salary is not subject to the NHL’s salary cap but will be paid out in full. $5.25 million per year to golf, ski and chat on podcasts? Sign us up for that gig any day of the week…