It looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks can both let out sighs of relief regarding prominent players and LTIR.
In fact, NHL executive Bill Daly confirmed that Lupul failed his second, independent physical, so to LTIR goes his $5.25 million cap hit:
Lupul turned 34 in late September. His contract expires after 2017-18, so it’s at least conceivable that he could play again. Seeing him fail multiple physicals doesn’t make that possibility seem any less remote. It says a lot that he’s suffered enough ailments that he could be sidelined for a number of reasons.
If this is it for Lupul, credit the winger for being more than “that guy who was involved in a weird number of Chris Pronger trades.” Lupul enjoyed a couple strong postseason runs, made an All-Star roster, and generated 420 points during his career.
There will be the thought of what could have been (both during his injury-ravaged playing days and in these years when he hasn’t played at all), but Lupul should keep his head held high.
And, hey, Twitter needs levity at this time, so he inadvertently contributes in that regard, too.