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Leafs’ Lupul done with KHL: “It was a little worse than I bargained for”

Dec 17, 2012, 1:07 PM EDT

Joffrey Lupul

Joffrey Lupul‘s Russian adventure is over.

That’s what the Toronto Maple Leafs forward told Sportsnet’s Fan 590 on Monday, saying he wouldn’t be returning to KHL Avtomobilist after the holiday break.

“It was probably a little more difficult than I thought, with the language barrier and living in a new country,” Lupul explained. “It was a little worse than I bargained for.”

Avtomobilist was the worst team in the KHL when Lupul arrived…and the worst team when he left. His presence didn’t seem to impact the team’s fortunes, if at all — in nine games he scored just 1G-3A-4PTS, and posted a minus-6 rating.

Lupul says he never truly felt comfortable in Russia and wants to get back to playing in North America.

“My heart’s here. I want to play here,” he said. “I want the season to start back up here, and hopefully I can be part of these meetings and negotiations.”

Oh, and here’s a great excerpt from the Fan 590 interview:

Lupul told The Fan Monday that he was walking down a Russian street with a new teammate and spotted an open man hole in the middle of the street – no cover. The forward suggested that it might be dangerous, that a pedestrian might fall in.

“Yeah, for sure someone will,” responded his KHL teammate.

“They’ll sue someone,” Lupul said.

“No, they don’t really sue people in Russia.”

Lupul probably feels comfortable now that he’s back in North America, where CBA negotiations have become totally litigious.


Yakupov would like to see more towel twirling in the KHL

Kane on KHL stint: “You play six minutes a night and they want you to score three goals a game”

  1. duster1982 - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    but I thought players here were treated like cattle?

  2. matt8204 - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    NHL ain’t so bad, is it? The stupidity of this entire thing astounds me.

  3. necromerlin - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that players are now talking about how horrible playing overseas is now that the litigation started. The NFLPA and NBAPA were able to decertify and attack the antitrust exemptions because there were no comparable options for players to make a living. With all the NHL players that went overseas it is harder to use decertification as a tactic when a significant number of players have found jobs in other leagues.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      I also think that in the states the quality of the hotels these players stay in, the restuarants they eat at, the facilities they practice and play at, and the medical treatment they recieve are taken for granted because many of them don’t know any different. And many of the ones who do know different are paid handsomely enough to offset any incovenience by the subpar standards of the amenities previously mentioned overseas

      • bigtganks - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Very good point. Think of the first time any of you went overseas in your 20’s, especially if you got sick. I know mine was an eye opener.

  4. blomfeld - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM


    Thanks for the laugh Mike ! A well written piece which is only too real and yet too funny !

    ps: wonder what would happen if Crosby disappeared down a man hole over there eh ? :)

    • herptard - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      I created an account just so I could high five you for the Atom and His Package reference.

      *high fives blomfeld*

      • blomfeld - Dec 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM

        Herptard – thank you friend, as this sure was a funny story eh ? … man o man would the “money” ever be crapping their pants if their “golden boy” suddenly disappeared down some Russian man-hole ! … of course that’s never going to happen, as Crosby’s threats of going to Europe were never any more serious than your sweetheart telling you she’s “had it” at some high school dance ! :)

  5. colby7 - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Reminds me of when I was driving with my russian friend from college, when she was pulled over by the cop for speeding, she pulled out her wallet and asked me how much to bribe him, I told her it deffinitly doesnt work that way here…

  6. id4joey - Dec 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Players! Sign the DEAL! Stop the financial bleeding you have inflicted on yourselves.

  7. fortwaynekomets - Dec 17, 2012 at 6:21 PM


    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      So much fail.

  8. ducksk - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Couldn’t get table thier either. Jeffy, how was horse meat? Better than BS I bet.

    • blomfeld - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:02 AM

      He should go and play in China and see how he likes dining on cats and dogs, eh ? :)

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