The 2011-12 campaign was bittersweet for Joffrey Lupul. He posted a career-high 67 points and made his first All-Star Game, but only played 66 games after a season-ending shoulder separation in March.
The injury was severe enough to keep Lupul off skates for five months. He returned to the ice on Tuesday, a 30-minute twirl at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke while strength and conditioning coach Anthony Belza looked on.
“It’s been too long of a summer,” Lupul told the Toronto Star. “Obviously, the way things ended for our team, struggling down the stretch last year, and myself getting injured and missing the last 16 games.
“It’s been a long break, and I can’t wait to get back and play. It should be an exciting year.”
Lupul says he’s at 100 percent and will definitely be ready to start the season. That’s key for the Leafs, as Lupul is expected to contribute on a top-heavy first line that includes Phil Kessel and (possibly) James van Riemsdyk, who sounds as though he’ll get an extended look as the No. 1 center.
Lupul is excited about the possibilities.
“This will be great for him. I think he’s had some injuries and got bumped down the depth chart in Philadelphia a little bit,” Lupul said. “Fresh start, new city, and it appears he’ll be getting a pretty good opportunity at camp. We need him to be a good player for us.”
The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.
Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.
(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)
While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.
The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.
Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out
Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?
Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:
With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.
That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.
Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.
Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith