Joffrey Lupul doesn’t sound like someone who is contemplating a comeback. One of the first things he says while being introduced on the “Member Guest Podcast” is that he’s “a retired hockey player whose [golf] handicap is ballooning.” The 34-year-old is not technically retired. Tuesday marks the two-year anniversary since his last game with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he still has a couple paycheques remaining in the final year of his contract with the NHL team. Lupul disappeared from the Leafs after having sports hernia surgery in February 2016 and hasn’t been heard from much publicly since. He sounded upbeat during his appearance on the podcast hosted by PGA Tour player Brendan Steele and Linkin Park bassist Dave Farrell, but acknowledged having to come to grips with the fact he’s no longer able to do everything necessary to play hockey at its highest level. “Everyone watches a three-hour game of hockey and they think that’s all you did that day, which is clearly not true,” said Lupul. “I even find now that I’m not playing, you have to – I tell myself sometimes – I’m like, ‘Ah, man, I miss certain things,’ but I’m thinking about like the best moments. I’m not thinking about getting multiple surgeries and breaking bones and like the bad parts, or the tough parts. Injuries and different things like that are all part of it. “When I think about things like that, it’s easier to let go of the fact that your body is not in good shape and it’s probably not meant to play hockey anymore. But it’s very easy to just focus on the great moments … the playoff games or big goals and stuff like that. That’s one thing I find myself dealing with now that I’m not playing, and probably won’t be playing going forward.” Lupul’s future intentions are unknown because of the mysterious way the Leafs have handled his situation. He was basically excommunicated from the organization after playing his 701st career game in Ottawa on Feb. 6, 2016 and aired some frustration on his Instagram account in September by suggesting the team had cheated by having him fail his medical.
Maple Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul seems at peace with probable end of career
Sportsnet | Feb 6