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Carlyle-Lupul rough history is “water under the bridge”

Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 31: Joffrey Lupul #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs controls the puck as Brooks Orpik #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends on January 31, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh defeated Toronto 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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A lot was being made of Randy Carlyle’s hiring in Toronto thanks to his shaky past with Joffrey Lupul in his days with the Anaheim Ducks. As Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun mentioned in his piece, Lupul’s time in Anaheim, for him, was filled with opportunities that Carlyle wouldn’t give him.

During today’s press conference in Montreal introducing Carlyle as the new head coach of the Maple Leafs, Carlyle was asked about his history with Lupul. Given that Lupul is one of the Leafs top scorers, it could’ve been a bad start if the two weren’t on the same page. Carlyle admits he made some mistakes.

“He felt that I didn’t use him correctly in Anaheim, and he’s right,” Carlyle said.

“I made a mistake of not using him as a left winger. That’s water under the bridge. I’ve talked to him about it and he’s a top-six forward on this team.”

That’s a hell of a way to make a first impression to the fans and media. Owning up to a past mistake, one that ultimately worked in the Leafs favor by getting to acquire Lupul last season, is a good way to kick things off especially after Ron Wilson was never one to fully own up to his errors.

Of course, the Leafs haven’t needed to motivate Lupul this season playing alongside Phil Kessel. Getting more from the rest of the roster, especially in goal, will be of vital importance if Toronto is to find a way into the postseason.