Long-Term Lupul: 5 years, $26.25 million
Joffrey Lupulʼs 2011/2012 campaign was the perfect example of how perseverance and linemate chemistry can produce significant,
and somewhat surprising, results.Still in many minds as the secondary asset acquired in the Jake Gardiner deal, Lupul not only rebounded from a string of serious (potentially career threatening) injuries to consistently contribute on the score sheet, but also take on leadership responsibilities with one of the leagueʼs youngest teams. Earning a letter on his chest prior to the start of this condensed season is a testament to what Carlyle and staff have seen within Joffrey, an example both in the locker-room and on the ice.
- Self-aware. Knows what he brings to the table. Entering prime years of career.
- Well rounded. Gritty, defensively responsible, and contributes offensively. - Takes advantage of opportunities. (Ie, playing time and leadership roles.)
- High compete level. Doesnʼt take a shift off. Leads by example.
- History of significant injuries. (Ie. Back, blood infection, shoulder)
- Some suspected a desire to head back to the west coast.
- Is he really a PPG producer, or close to it?
- Previous “crusty” relationship with coach, Randy Carlyle.
When thinking about comparables to this signing, itʼs important to not only look at contracts with similar cap-hits, but also factors like the age of the player, what the market was like when the contract was signed, and how a brand new CBA might play into things. Below are a handful of comparables that help to explain the arena in which Nonis and the Lupul camp were working.
Joffrey Lupul: 66 GP/67 PTS/+1/48 PIM ($5.25 mil)
David Krejci: 79 GP/62 PTS/-5/36 PIM ($5.25 mil)
Jeff Carter: 55 GP/34 PTS/-12/16 PIM ($5.27 mil)
Mikhail Grabovski: 74 GP/51 PTS/even/51 PIM ($5.5 mil)
Ales Hemsky: 69 GP/36 PTS/-13/43 PIM ($5 mil)
James Neal: 80 GP/81 PTS/+6/87 PIM ($5 mil)
Patrice Bergerson: 81 GP/64 PTS/+36/20 PIM ($5 mil)
By personal estimation, this is a solid signing for both the Leafs and Joffrey. Undoubtedly, there are (and already have been) significant changes coming to this line- up, and to have one of your franchiseʼs more positive of assets committed long term (to team AND community) is an important accomplishment not only for current on-ice configurations, but in the luring of future prospective pieces as well. Does the Lupul signing encourage Kessel to extend in Toronto? Can Joffrey continue his impressive offensive contribution from last season? How significant is the locking up of one of the teamʼs top six fixtures? Time will tell, but from all indications, both team and player were focused and fair in these negotiations.
On his own thoughts with regards to the signing, Lupul had this to say: “I’m thrilled to be a Maple Leaf for 5 more years. Looking forward to doing everything I can to help bring a Stanley Cup to Toronto.”
Dave Nonis echoed these sentiments following his first big ‘signing’ as the team’s GM: “We felt strongly that he's a player that will be part of the solution moving forward and he would be a big part of a winning team here in Toronto.”
Dave Hamilton @AIHHockey