I have been covering the Toronto Maple Leafs for six seasons now. However, every once in a while, something new pops up that I had not heard of. That happened this past week when it was repeatedly noted that goalie Matt Murray was shipped to “Robidas Island” as a result of his move to long-term injury reserve by the Maple Leafs.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Treliving, Amirov, Clune & Robidas Island

So Where (or More Correctly What) Is Robidas Island?

Robidas Island is a fictional island that became synonymous with players who found themselves placed on injured reserve. In the Maple Leafs organization, that usually marked the end of their season (and often their time) with the team.

Robidas Island owes its existence to a “crafty” (some would say illegal) move that was used by former Maple Leafs’ General Manager, Lou Lamoriello. In a shrewd maneuver, Lamoriello managed to place defenseman Stephane Robidas on injured reserve. The reason was a “knee injury” that Robidas apparently had suffered.

The move allowed Robidas to stay away from the team and remain in his home province of Québec. That became the start of the Robidas Island scenario. He retired after that season.

Soon Robidas Island Began Expanding

The 2015-2016 season was a unique one because the Maple Leafs were tanking on purpose. As the season progressed, Robidas Island saw a population influx as players were moved from the Maple Leafs’ roster to more firmly embrace the team’s rebuilding phase.

Prominent players like James Van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul soon took up residence on the island due to injuries. In each case they were being instructed not to rush back. Instead, they should take time to ensure their injury rehab had “worked” successfully.

It was no secret that the team was focused on gaining the highest odds for the number one overall draft pick. As a result, sending players to Robidas Island ensured they didn’t jeopardize the team’s tanking strategy by attempting a regular-season comeback.

It worked. The Maple Leafs gained the number one draft choice, who became Auston Matthews. He was the first-overall choice in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The rest is history.

Related: Good News Update for Maple Leafs’ Rodion Amirov’s Recovery

Robidas Island Was Where the Maple Leafs Jettisoned Unwanted Players

The trend of sending players to Robidas Island didn’t end with injuries alone. Players like Alex Stalock and Jared Cowen were also sent to the “island” when the Maple Leafs’ GM Lamoriello decided they were no longer part of the team’s long-term plans.

Joffrey Lupul, citizen of Robidas Island

In an interesting move, Joffrey Lupul seems to have been granted permanent citizenship on the island. With an abundance of young wingers seeking roster spots, he became a veteran player who was no longer needed. Lupul became the odd man out, and retired at the age of 32 after that 2015-16 season.

The Bottom Line

Robidas Island has become a running gag within the Maple Leafs community. However, it holds significance for the players sent there. Once on the island, they were rarely heard from again. As noted, Lupul retired after his experience.

As part of the 2023-24 season, goalie Murray has been the latest Maple Leafs’ player to be shipped to the metaphorically Robidas Island. Will he return?

That isn’t quite clear yet. At 29 years of age, he probably believes he still has some good seasons left. However, they will not likely be with the Maple Leafs.

Related: 10 Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Menell, Hirvonen, Minten & Samsonov

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