Add two more names to the list of players you won’t see in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey again this season, though not for the reasons rumored all year. Both Joffrey Lupul and James van Riemsdyk are going to be shut down for the season with injuries, according to reports.
Joffrey Lupul has been out of the lineup since Feb. 6 with a “middle body” injury. The team told media Thursday that Lupul underwent surgery for a sports hernia on Monday, and he will be done for the seaosn.
Van Riemsdyk has been dealing with a foot injury and there has been an undisclosed setback in his rehab. He’s now expected to miss the rest of the season, reports Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, who added that van Riemsdyk is expected to make a “100%” recovery by the fall. He’s expected to resume light skating in a couple weeks, but won’t be healthy in time to play.
With those two laid up for the rest of the year, the team currently has that duo, Stephane Robidas, Tyler Bozak, Milan Michalek and Jared Cowen on injured reserve. Add in Leo Komarov’s suspension and that the Leafs have traded away Dion Phaneuf, Roman Polak and Nick Spaling, as well as Shawn Matthias, and the Toronto roster is starting to look mighty thin.
Outside of goaltenders, they have only three skaters on the active roster making $3 million or more, and just nine players on the active roster on contract beyond this season. Should both Lupul and van Riemsdyk find their way onto long-term injured reserve, the Leafs would have an incredible amount of cap space available to them to make trade deadline deals.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.