Toronto Maple Leafs: Don’t Wait On Lupul Trade

The Toronto Maple Leafs would should be actively trying to get rid of Joffrey Lupul – or as much of him as they can – but that is not an easy task.

Joffrey Lupul is a $5+ million cloud hanging over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he’s almost untradeable – almost.

Steve Simmons wrote that Lupul told friends he might have played his last game in Toronto. That’s going to be difficult to accomplish without him getting a phantom injury.

Bryan Bickell was just moved, but he makes $1.25M less than Lupul, and has one less year on his current contract. They aren’t really comparable bad contracts – even though Bickell’s disgusting 5v5 points/60 of 0.50 was much less than Lupul’s almost equally bad 0.79 in comparison to dollars paid.

So how to the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Lupul this year?

Without throwing in a good prospect – like Chicago had to do in Bickell’s case – or a good prospect and something else due to the two year term, the Toronto Maple Leafs best option lies in finding another, slightly worse, player who Lupul out-performs.

Toronto will likely have to throw in a sweetening 2nd round pick, but that pick will be the price of an extra $1.25M-$2.25M in cap space.

The problem with that lies in the search through the dumpsters of the league to find the golden ticket. There is no golden ticket in trying to find a player who performs worse than Lupul at 5v5 and makes around the same horrendous money on a two or less year term.

The most logical answer – without envisioning a general manager foolish enough to take him – is that Joffrey Lupul can’t be dealt this off-season. The best hope the Toronto Maple Leafs have is to trade him next off-season in a similar fashion to the Bickell trade, only perhaps taking back a smaller bad contract for less cost than a prospect like Teravainen.

It’s not easy to trade a player who has one of the poorest 5v5 performances in the league, makes $5.25M for two more seasons and drags most of the players he plays with down with respect to possession.

The Toronto Maple Leafs energy would be better spent finding a suitable partner to send Tyler Bozak to, because that actually has some hope.