Joffrey Lupul Has Found A Home In Toronto

November 2nd, 2011 No Comments

When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks for defensive prospect Jake Gardiner, a conditional fourth round draft pick and Joffrey Lupul, Gardiner was expected to be the jewel of the trade for the Maple Leafs.

As it turns out, Gardiner’s play early on this season has been gold and surprisingly, so has Lupul’s.

Originally drafted seventh overall by the Ducks at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Lupul, has a history of injury woes. He missed 24 games in the 2010-11 season due to back surgery, which was part of the reason the Ducks gave up on the young sniper so early.

Lupul went on to play 28 games with the Maple Leafs last season, registering nine goals (two of which were power play markers) and nine assists, for a total of 18 points. When combined with his totals with the Ducks, Lupul posted 14 goals and 17 assists for a total of 31 points in 54 games—a far cry from his career high of of 53 points (28 goals and 25 assists) with the Ducks in 2005-06.

Lupul would spend one season with the Edmonton Oilers before joining the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007-08. He found himself back with the Anaheim Ducks in 2009-10, managing to play in just 23 games, registering ten goals and four assists for a total of 14 points.

This season Lupul came to camp in excellent shape and, with a chance to play on the Maple Leafs top line with Phil Kessel and Tim Connolly, was expected to be a major contributor—if he could stay healthy.

Through 12 games Lupul has eight goals and six assists, including a hat trick against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils in Wednesday nights 5-3 Maple Leafs victory. All three goals came in the second period, it was Lupul’s first hat trick since 2007 and the first Maple Leafs hat trick in the same period since 1992 when Wendel Clark lit the lamp three times in one period.

For Lupul, his quick start to the season serves as a measure of redemption for a player that many had given up on.

The acquisition of Lupul is yet another example of Burke garnering tremendous value for Beauchemin—a player that simply had outlived his welcome in Toronto and is undeniably on the downside of his career.

Without question, Lupul looks to have found a home in Toronto. Currently carrying a cap hit of $4.25 million through 2012-13, Lupul will have to continue to impress if he wants to stay in Toronto (especially at that price tag), but from all indications thus far, it appears as if Burke will be looking to lock Lupul up sooner, rather than later.

***This article appeared on Foxsports.com on Thursday, November 3rd.

Until next time,

Peace!

 

Joffrey Lupul finding a home in Toronto

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