For the second time this week an NHL player is accusing the Toronto Maple Leafs of some shady dealings.
The Maple Leafs announced this week that forward Joffrey Lupul failed his physical for the upcoming season, the second year in a row that has happened for him.
On Sunday night Lupul posted a picture on Instagram — apparently of himself snowboarding — and then went into the comments where he seemed to argue that he is not injured and is ready to play, saying “I’m ready … just awaiting the call” and “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”
Lupul has deleted the cheating comment, but here is a screengrab, via TSN.
Lupul has not played for the Maple Leafs since the 2015-16 season and is under contract for one more season with a salary cap hit of $5.25 million.
Placing him on the long-term injured list gives the Maple Leafs an extra roster spot as well as some salary cap relief. The Maple Leafs have had a tendency to put their unwanted contracts — most famously defenseman Stephane Robidas — on LTIR.
On Monday NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN’s Darren Dreger that the league isn’t in a position to comment on Lupul’s accusation at this time but “that may or may not change when we know more.” The Maple Leafs did not comment.
Lupul, who will turn 34 later this week, has dealt with injury issues throughout his career but has been a very reliable scorer when healthy, scoring at least 20 goals five different times in his career. He has 205 goals and 420 total points in 701 regular season games as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers and Maple Leafs.
This situation comes just a couple of days after defenseman Jared Cowen called his buyout situation with the Maple Leafs “a joke of a process.”
Cowen never actually played a game for the Maple Leafs after he was acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators a couple of years ago and was then bought out for salary cap relief. Cowen argued that he was injured at the time and was not eligible to be bought out, but he ended up losing the arbitration case as well as $3 million.
He is in Colorado Avalanche camp this season on a tryout contract.