That was unexpected.
In my daily poll today, I asked how long you thought that Joffrey Lupul would be suspended for his cross-check to the neck of the Detroit Red Wings‘ Patrick Eaves during the Winter Classic. Most of you thought that he would get two or three games. There were even some of you that thought he would get five or more games.
Well, when the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced their decision after Lupul’s hearing, a lot of us were left surprised. Lupul was only fined $10,000 dollars, the maximum amount an NHLer can be fined, and was not suspended.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a lucky team as they will not lose one of their best players. How Lupul managed to escape suspension is astounding, considering that he is considered a repeat offender. James Mirtle offered a possible explanation on Twitter.
You really have to wonder if conditions at Winter Classic were primary part of Lupul's argument against suspension. Visibility was poor.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 3, 2014
Having Lupul escape suspension for this hit does wonders for the team. The Leafs’ next five games are all against teams that they should be able to beat. Having Lupul miss no time will make sure those games stay that way.
The Leafs next game is at home against the New York Rangers tomorrow night.