What's Buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Joffrey Lupul, Maple Leafs agree to five year, $26.25-million extension

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

View photo


The Toronto Maple Leafs have locked up Joffrey Lupul for the next half-decade, agreeing on a 5-year extension worth $26.25 million. It averages out to $5.25 for the Leafs' right winger, just a hair under Phil Kessel's deal and $250,000 beneath Mikhail Grabovski.

“[Lupul] has proven to be a dynamic offensive player and since joining our hockey club he has fit in extremely well with our team,” Dave Nonis said in a statement. “His alternate captaincy is well deserved and, by signing this extension, we look forward to him playing a large role with the Leafs for many years to come.”

Ah, yes, the alternate captaincy. That "A" is as pivotal to this story as the one in The Scarlet Letter. See, Leafs' coach Randy Carlyle clashed with Lupul in Edmonton, but the "A" he awarded Lupul in advance of the Leafs' opener was a symbolic gesture that he's come around to Lupul in a core role in Toronto. It was a stamp of approval.

[Also: Duo dazzle in their NHL debuts | Saturday's three stars]

Count all that salad Dave Nonis just gave him as a similar gesture. Lupul is now one of the Leafs' highest-paid players. Should he be?

Well, judging by last season alone, sure. Lupul was a point-per-game player in Toronto, with 67 points in 66 games. But the question is whether or not it's repeatable.

For this contract to be worth it, it goes without saying that it needs to be. Lupul now has a deal comparable with Evander Kane, Jason Pominville, Bobby Ryan, and John Tavares, among others. But what all of those players have on Lupul is more than one productive season.

The coaching change in Toronto may still put a hamper on Lupul's production. After all, while Carlyle may have embraced Lupul's preexisting role, the Leafs' top line simply isn't going to have the same freedom under him that they did under Ron Wilson. Carlyle expects backchecking and responsible defensive play, and if Lupul has a weakness, well, it's that stuff.

Can he remain a point-per-game player when he's expected to up his performance at the other end of the ice? If the answer is yes, this is a great deal, especially since two point-per-game seasons would likely have earned Lupul even more at the year's end.

But if not, "overpayment" just became a palindrome.

NHL video on Yahoo! Sports

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Dodgers infielder Justin Sellers arrested for doing motorcycle "wheelies"
Florio: Where will Alex Smith land next season?
Soccer star cuts his arm by punching window after getting sent off

View Comments (19)
  • Hampton makes lacrosse history in loss to Roberts Wesleyan

    HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- Hampton became the first historically black university to field an NCAA Division I lacrosse team on Saturday, losing 20-3 to Roberts Wesleyan. … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 minutes 45 seconds ago
  • Kings-Devils Preview

    The Los Angeles Kings' pattern of inconsistency has carried over into their season-high road trip, but they have proved steady in many recent visits to New Jersey. The Kings, however, will have to face a Devils team that's coming off a pair of … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Winnipeg Jets outdoor game vs. Connor McDavid in October: Report

    Winnipeg Jets outdoor game vs. Connor McDavid in October: Report

    On Saturday, John Shannon of Sportsnet reported that the opponent will be the Edmonton Oilers, and that outdoor game will be held in October. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 24 minutes ago
  • Bruins extend road win streak to 6

    Bruins extend road win streak to 6

    Missing scoring leader Patrice Bergeron, the streaking Boston Bruins had little trouble pushing aside the free-falling Minnesota Wild for yet another road victory. David Krejci broke a tie in the second period, 35 seconds after Minnesota scored, … More »

    AP - Sports - 59 minutes ago
  • Henrique's OT goal gets Devils by Flyers

    Henrique's OT goal gets Devils by Flyers

    The New Jersey Devils know the extra point they picked up Saturday could be pivotal to making the playoffs. Adam Henrique scored a power-play goal 2:58 into overtime to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 36 minutes ago