The NHL will seek a second opinion on the status of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
Lupul hasn’t played since February 2016 due to various injuries and the team’s general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters last week the 33-year-old had failed his physical at training camp.
The winger then made headlines over the weekend when he insinuated the Maple Leafs might not exactly be playing by the rules.
Lupul said in an Instagram post, which he ended up deleting, that he was ready and “awaiting the call” but when someone mentioned his failed physical Lupul replied with: “Haha failed physical? They cheat, everyone lets them.”
The Leafs, ever since Brendan Shanahan and Lamoriello came on board, have made a habit out of burying contracts on long-term injured reserve.
Fans of the team have dubbed this “Robidas Island” after veteran defenceman Stephane Robidas sat out the entire 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons while under contract with the team. The team also acquired forward Nathan Horton from the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2015 as a way to ship David Clarkson’s unwanted contract out of town.
Jared Cowen, acquired by Toronto in the deal that sent Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa and eventually bought out by the team, has been vocal in his criticism of the Maple Leafs and how the organization treats its injured players.
“Basically, they got me, figured out that I was hurt, they didn’t want to deal with it and they got rid of me,” Cowen said.
Lupul released a statement Wednesday night apologizing for his comments.
“I responded earlier this week to some negative comments on Instagram. It was an inappropriate response, and I deleted it, but I take full responsibility,” Lupul wrote. “It’s been extremely tough not being able to play over the past 1.5 years. I will not be seeking a second opinion, but I hope one day to get back on the ice. I apologize to the media, fans, Leafs organization, and most of all my teammates for this unneeded distraction.”