The Toronto Maple Leafs are receiving some criticism online for their recent placement of Matt Murray on Long Term Injured Reserve (LTIR).
The skepticism comes after the Toronto Maple Leafs declared Murray healthy during the playoffs, yet now find him not healthy enough for the upcoming season.
Writer’s like Eklund from hockeybuzz.com stated [Matt Murray, Declared healthy in playoffs, now LTIR. Ah yes… While LTIR technically stands for “Long Term Injury Reserve” the truer name would be “Loophole That is Ridiculous”]
Oilers Daily even came out with an article titled “Evidence throws accusations towards the Maple Leafs for cheating”. Apparently they are unaware of what evidence actually means, as it is a body of facts to assist with the belief of something. There is nothing in the article to indicate that, at most at this time there is some suspicious actions.
Toronto Maple Leafs Being Criticized About Robidas Island
To be fair to the critics, the move does appear skeptical and some have made note that the Maple Leafs have used LTIR in the past for larger contracts.
While this fact is true, it has not been abused. It isn’t like the Toronto organization to have placed a player on LTIR only to have them return just in time for playoffs when the salary cap isn’t a factor.
Murray has a long history of injuries; just since January 2021 when capfriendly.com started tracking player’s history of injuries he has been out of the line-up injured nine different times, mostly for multiple weeks at a time.
With Murray placed on LTIR, he is now being considered to be heading to “Robidas Island”, a term given to Maple Leafs players that are placed on LTIR and are never expected to return to the team for the duration of their contract.
The term started after the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Stephane Robidas to a three-year contract that carried a cap hit of $3 Million per season. At the time of his contract back in 2014 it took up 4.35% of the clubs cap. It was evident that after a pair of broken legs he was not able to play at the NHL level and he was placed on LTIR just 52 games into his first season of the contact and never played again.
Over the years, almost all the players the Leafs have been accused of using the LTIR with for sketchy reasons have not actually ever played hockey again.
However, teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning have used it to their advantage to the point that Nikita Kucherov gloated about abusing the salary cap to win the Stanley Cup. After missing the entirety of the 2020-21 season, he returned for the playoffs to score 32-points in 24 games. Kucherov even wore a shirt during his day with the Stanley Cup that read “$18M Over the Cap”.
What is more concerning is that a goalie that had a very talented career may be forced into retirement at the end of the season at the age of 30. It is clear that the Leafs have done nothing wrong.