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Joffrey Lupul to return for Toronto; Leafs trade Steckel to Anaheim

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting Joffrey Lupul back, and have traded David Steckel to Anaheim. (Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting Joffrey Lupul back, and have traded David Steckel to Anaheim. (Getty Images)

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Joffrey Lupul is ready to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs' lineup this weekend, and that means the team needed to make a roster move to open a spot for him.

That move turned out to be trading center David Steckel to the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan Lasch and a seventh-round draft pick. Lasch will report to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

The move reunites Steckel with Bruce Boudreau, his former coach in Washington.

Steckel had been a healthy scratch recently but is one of the best players in the league at winning faceoffs and a solid defensive player. While Steckel is far from great, he certainly has some value and would probably be providing more to Toronto's fourth line than Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren are, so that makes the decision to trade him a little odd. But Toronto seems to like the physical presence (and the fighting) that Orr and McLaren provide.

Lupul has been out for most of the season due to a fractured forearm that he suffered in January, when he was hit by a slap shot. That happened not long after he signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract extension. He appeared in three games this season before suffering the injury and did not record a point.

He's coming off a career year with Toronto, having scored 25 goals to go with 42 assists (67 total points) in 66 games.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @Agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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