Joffrey Lupul officially joins KHL’s last-place team

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Joffrey Lupul has been given the green light to play for the KHL’s Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg despite some initial hurdles, according to R-Sport.

Lupul confirmed the signing on Tuesday, but he wasn’t eligible to join the KHL due to the rules the league implemented back in September.

In the end, Lupul will get to play in the KHL, but he’ll be joining a squad has no other NHL players and ranks dead last in the KHL with just 15 points in 23 games.

So why has Lupul agreed to play for such a dreadful team? No, it’s not because his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs has made him more sympathetic to their plight. The answer is actually pretty simple: Most of the good teams were taken.

As Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin recently pointed out to R-Sport, most of the top-tier teams have already reached their limit of three locked-out players. So for guys like Lupul that have waited to sign with a KHL squad, they’ll have to settle for one of the remaining openings.

Of course, regardless of what team Lupul is on, this signing will give him the opportunity to play in the KHL and shake off the rust so that he’s in a better position if the lockout ends in time to salvage the 2012-13 season.