It has been an interesting 24 hours as it pertains to news and rumors around the NHL.
Florida Panthers Trading Demers
It appears the Jason Demers trade wasn’t as simple as merely finding a deal with the Coyotes. George Richards is reporting that the Florida Panthers first finalized trading the defenseman to the Vancouver Canucks for d-man Erik Gudbranson. Demers has a modified no-trade clause and turned down the deal.
There were hints the Panthers were moving Demers over the summer and the team ended up having to retain 12.5% of Demers salary to make the deal possible.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) September 17, 2017
For his part, Demers seems excited about where the Coyotes team is headed. The Florida Panthers, on the other hand, will be paying almost $5 million over the course of the next two years for Demers and Jussi Jokinen not to be playing for them.
In a funny twist, Demers called Jamie McGinn after being traded to tell McGinn how excited he was to be coming to the Coyotes and playing with McGinn who he’d played alongside in San Jose. McGinn had to inform Demers that he was the opposing player going the other way. Demers was completely unaware of who he’d been traded for.
Who’s Lying? Lupul or the Leafs?
Joffrey Lupul made waves on Instagram yesterday by claiming that the Toronto Maple Leafs were cheating in respect to his failed physical and ability to play in the NHL this season. Darren Dreger is reporting that when asked for a statement, the NHL and Bill Daley would not make a comment at this time. “We aren’t in a position to comment right now. That may or may not change when we know more.”
“Lupul posted a photo of himself snowboarding to his verified Instagram account Sunday night, prompting one of his followers to inquire about his supposed failed physical. In response, Lupul wrote, “Haha [sic] failed physical? They cheat, everyone lets them.” He also responded to another comment about when he’d be playing in the NHL again with, “I’m ready…just awaiting the call.”
In a summer full of signings and trades, this is about the most interesting item to hit the media yet and it’s bound to get messy if it’s looked into by the NHL. Lupul hasn’t played in the league in over 20 months and the Maple Leafs are saving $5.25 off their salary cap by having him on long-term injury reserve (LTIR). Last year, teammates like Nazem Kadri believed Lupul was feeling good, but he wasn’t at the rink and Lupul had released a statement suggesting he’d work hard to get back after missing time due to an injury. It was a bit odd but because Lupul acknowledged his injury issues, was never really questioned. Still, it felt eerily similar to the situation with the Leafs and Stephane Robidas.
Robidas was signed by the Leafs to a hefty contract as a veteran player. Deemed overpaid by many, he seemed fine in a preseason game, but then magically went away, deemed too unhealthy to continue. Even with a history of leg issues that could bother him for the rest of his career, Robidas did, however, tell the media he felt great.
It is uncertain where this goes from here, but, this could be an example of simply finding different results as it pertains to the definition of healthy and not a case of “cheating.” Lupul’s career has been plagued by injury and this could be just a case of the player thinking he’s more healthy than he really is, and frustration setting in. If the Maple Leafs’ team doctors determined that he wasn’t in the type of physical shape to keep up with the grind of the NHL, they can argue that his failed physical is legitimate.
There is bound to be further developments as this goes along but much of it might be in determining what “healthy” actually means.
Ryan Malone is turning heads in Minnesota. After being out of the game for two years, he’s happy, enthusiastic and really trying to make a comeback. It could be a long shot to see him get a contract out of camp but coach Bruce Boudreau has been impressed.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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