Aug 7, 2012, 5:00 PM EST
The 2011-12 campaign was bittersweet for Joffrey Lupul. He posted a career-high 67 points and made his first All-Star Game, but only played 66 games after a season-ending shoulder separation in March.
The injury was severe enough to keep Lupul off skates for five months. He returned to the ice on Tuesday, a 30-minute twirl at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke while strength and conditioning coach Anthony Belza looked on.
“It’s been too long of a summer,” Lupul told the Toronto Star. “Obviously, the way things ended for our team, struggling down the stretch last year, and myself getting injured and missing the last 16 games.
“It’s been a long break, and I can’t wait to get back and play. It should be an exciting year.”
Lupul says he’s at 100 percent and will definitely be ready to start the season. That’s key for the Leafs, as Lupul is expected to contribute on a top-heavy first line that includes Phil Kessel and (possibly) James van Riemsdyk, who sounds as though he’ll get an extended look as the No. 1 center.
Lupul is excited about the possibilities.
“This will be great for him. I think he’s had some injuries and got bumped down the depth chart in Philadelphia a little bit,” Lupul said. “Fresh start, new city, and it appears he’ll be getting a pretty good opportunity at camp. We need him to be a good player for us.”
- Wild coach accuses Sharks of embellishment 0
- Lundqvist hooked after three first-period goals as Rangers’ woes continue 20
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 40
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 19
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 37
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 83
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 33
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (184)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)