Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Joffrey Lupul, took some time out this weekend to respond to fans on Instagram. Normally, replying to questions on social media is fairly harmless, but Lupul raised a few eyebrows last night when he put his own team on blast.
Despite being listed on the Leaf's official roster, Joffrey Lupul hasn’t played professional hockey in over a year. The aging NHL winger has sat on Toronto's long term reserve after hernia surgery sidelined him in February 2016. It was an unfortunate blow for Lupul, especially due to his long history with nasty ailments. With this in mind, Joffrey's absence in the lineup shouldn’t raise too many questions, but whispers around the league point to something sneaky in Toronto’s office.
According to hockey insiders, Lupul has remained on the injury reserve to alleviate Toronto’s salary cap situation. On hardcore fan forums, this cap circumvention has become an unspoken truth— the excellent Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets, has coined the team's injury reserve, “Robidas Island”. The fictional location is named after another marooned veteran, Stephane Robidas, whose bad contract came off the books thanks to the LTIR.
Unsurprisingly, Toronto has remained radio silent on the matter, but last night’s Instagram comment reignited the entire discussion online. When Lupul posted a picture of himself snowboarding down a hill, a fellow Instagram user questioned the player's injury status. Rather than keeping his lips shut and collecting a paycheck, Lupul called out Leafs brass and subsequently confirmed the existence of Robidas Island. "Haha failed physical? They cheat, everyone lets them,” he said holding nothing back.
Before the night was through, Joffrey went even further and stated that he wants to suit up this season. "I'm ready, just awaiting the call." Shortly after posting, Lupul deleted his comments. As of writing, the Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to respond.