Lots stirring on the Joffrey Lupul front the past few days. The roundup:
Elliotte Friedman yesterday on Sportsnet 960:
“Thing about Lupul is he is injury prone, but he is two or three years removed where he was among the top 10 players in scoring at the time he got injured at the end of the year. I heard last year that Montreal has asked about him and Toronto may deal him. When I met with Dave Nonis in the summer, I asked him about that. He said there has been interest, but he made a really good point to me. He said, if you look at his contract — which is not ridiculous– if we trade that guy, it’s going to cost us that much at least to replace him. So, why not see if we can keep him here and keep him healthy?
Now, this year obviously another injury. I think the Leafs are in a position where they are trying to collect picks and assets as much as much as they possibly can. Lupul is going to be in that conversation. I believe that Pittsburgh is in on this. It’s not easy for the Penguins, they are right at the cap, but they have some young pieces that would definitely interest Toronto, particularly on defense.
Montreal, I wonder if they are back into it. They are still looking for some size and some wingers.
One of the teams I wonder, kind of in a stealth way, if they are involved in this, because they would be a team that would also need to clear some cap room to get it done, is Boston. I’m sure there are some teams out West too, but those are three of the ones that might have a hand in on this.
It would not surprise me if Pittsburgh was a team that was making a real push. He fits what they need, which is a winger who can play on one of their top two lines.”
Pierre Lebrun, on Leafs Lunch, on the Habs’ reported interest:
“The Habs have looked at him, as have other teams. Probably what would scare Bergevin is he is so meticulous about his cap and payroll. Even today’s move he marginally brought his cap number down [Sekac for Smith-Pelley]. You look at Lupul’s deal and especially because of the injuries; it’s a big number for a guy who is not always in your lineup. 5.25 million cap hit, three more years, I’m not convinced it makes that much sense for Montreal. Certainly what he would bring is a little more offense. They continue to struggle to score, they’ve won so many one-goal games and low scoring games because they have the best goalie in the game and they lead the league in goals against. They’re not naturally gifted offensively right now.”
Nick Kypreos on Hockey Central at Noon:
“My first question is if he can’t stay healthy during a regular season, how is he going to get through four rounds? Are you not trading for that type of contract saying [going deep] is what you’re striving for? Can he even last three rounds? Even if you’re Calgary or Winnipeg, why wouldn’t you think, with some luck or health on you side, you couldn’t get to a Conference Final? Teams start thinking that way.
We know Montreal has been following the Leafs around. I’m also hearing that they’ve been watching Daniel Winnik very closely. Maybe that’s the depth guy that can give Montreal a little bit of size as well.”