TORONTO - Forking over a $10,000 fine so soon after Christmas would sour almost anyone in Toronto.
But Joffrey Lupul couldnít cut his cheque fast enough after the NHL chose to pinch his wallet instead of pull him from the Maple Leafs lineup for a couple of games.
Though Lupulís chances looked grim before Fridayís phone hearing with player safety judge Brendan Shanahan, the Leaf being a repeat offender on a team with five others suspended this season, he wonít miss Saturdayís home game against the New York Rangers.
Phone dates with Shanahan usually mean two to four games, but Lupul was spared, minus 10 grand in lost salary to the NHLís emergency fund. Thatís already been topped up by the Leafsí more than $500,000 US from 19 games accrued by Dave Clarkson (leaving the bench to fight, head shot) Nazem Kadri (goalie interference), Dion Phaneuf (boarding) and Carter Ashton (boarding). Phil Kessel also had three-game pre-season ban for slashing.