Joffrey Lupul is done for the season.
This time knee surgery is the culprit. In the past, Lupul has missed time to a major back injury (and subsequent infection), a broken forearm (thanks to captain Dion Phaneuf) and a concussion (delivered by two Philadelphia Flyers).
Lupul’s penchant for getting injured has quickly become the subject of ridicule in Toronto. Fans often derisively refer to Lupul as “The Glass Man” and while it’s certainly not his fault that back luck seems to follow him, the frustration of the fans can be understood. The injury simply puts a cap on a horrible season for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Lupul joined the team in 2010-2011 and his arrival seemed full of promise. He recorded a career-high 67 points (25 goals, 42 assists) in 66 games the following season, which earned him extra time in Toronto. He was promptly singed to a five-year, $26.25 million US contract extension, rewarding him as part of the team’s core.
That extension now looks like a mistake. Lupul was limited to 16 games of action last season. He’s been relatively healthy this season, playing in 69 games, but his production has dropped significantly. He has 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists) this season, which represents a 22-point drop from that magical campaign in 2011-2012.
It’s not entirely bad news for Lupul, however. His recovery should only take a month and he’ll get to miss the rest of this miserable season. On this last point, I’m sure all of his teammates are jealous.
Despite my implicit (and sometimes explicit) criticism of Lupul, he is a major leader on the team and this is where his absence may be felt the greatest.
Finding themselves in crisis mode, the Leafs could actually benefit from Lupul’s presence right now. Hopefully, he takes the bad luck with him.
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