Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Brian Burke, you son of a bitch. Just as I was getting sad and depressed about this team, you make a huge move and get me interested again. What a way to wake up on Sunday, eh?

So, now Dion Phaneuf is a Toronto Maple Leaf. This is a player who can change a game, much like Phil Kessel. Phaneuf brings the hammer; he can change the momentum with a single hit. Oh, and he can do it on a regular basis. Unlike Exelby though, Dion also has the offensive tools to score goals and assists. The Toronto Sun calls him a "stud". I am going to call him a two-way player. He can play up to 30 minutes a night, shut down the best the other team has to offer, and produce offence.

Dion has had a rough year though. Once, he was a lock for the Canadian Olympic team and was a Norris Trophy candidate. He has struggled and found himself to be expendable. Why is that?

I think it is easy to see why Dion has struggled. Phaneuf is a bit of a rover - he likes to pinch and play offence, and he also likes to take risks and throw the body. Under Brent Sutter, he has been reigned in and it has affected his ability to produce. Also, the signing of Jay Bouwmeester has taken minutes from Dion. A team only needs one "elite" defenceman, and when Calgary brought in Bouwmeester, it became a case of too many hens in the hen house. Bouwmeester has not played too well in Calgary, either.

I don't think we will see the full effect of having Dion until next year.

I will miss Hagman. He was a creative player and he was locked into a sensible contract. White and his moustache will be missed as well. I had thought of Stajan as a Leaf for life for some reason. Mayers...well, I got nothing for him. Still, it was the cost of doing business. Outside of Mayers, all three players can add something to a team - but they are replaceable. A player like Phaneuf is harder to find.

I want to see Phaneuf and Komisarek as a pair. I think they both play solid defence, and Komisarek's steady play can set Phaneuf free to jump into a play or throw a big hit.

Does this move make Kaberle expendable? Will Phaneuf regain his All-Star form with the Leafs? These questions can only be answered by time.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about Phaneuf and Komisarek playing together - I always thought of Komi as the kind of guy who is a little too aggressive.

    I like Phaneuf with Beauchemin, and Kaberle with Komisarek. Although if we trade Kaberle I think you'll get your wish - it'd probably be Kaberle with Schenn and Phaneuf with Komisarek.