Over the last few years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made a habit out of using the long-term injured reserve list more than almost any other team in the league. Players like David Clarkson, Nathan Horton, Joffrey Lupul, and Stephane Robidas have all spent full seasons away from the team, apparently too injured to continue their career. While there has never been proof that an injury didn’t exist, Lupul has made it clear in the past that he wants to continue his playing career and once again took to social media to call out the Maple Leafs’ salary cap practices.
In an Instagram comment last night (via Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star), Lupul wrote that he was ready and just waiting for a call to play hockey again, and then subsequently said that the Maple Leafs’ “cheat” and “everyone lets them.” Fans and media alike have used the term “Robidas Island” to describe where Toronto sends their injured players, a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that they may just be more unwanted than unhealthy.
All of this has been speculation and rumor, though Jared Cowen leveled similar complaints towards the team after being bought out last summer. Now, Darren Dreger of TSN asked NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to comment, which he declined:
We aren’t in a position to comment right now. That may or may not change when we know more.
That at least does sound like the league will be looking into it, a stance they also took when similar skepticism was shown at the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa situation. Hossa has developed a skin condition because of prolonged exposure to the equipment, one that will prevent him from playing this season. His $5.28MM contract and Lupul’s $5.25MM deal will not count towards the salary cap this season.