Leafs blueline gets physical, offence anemic.
February 1, 2010 Leave a comment
I’m sure everyone knows by now that the Leafs and Calgary Flames made a deal on Sunday that sent 24-year-old star defenceman Dion Phaneuf (and his girflriend Elisha Cuthbert) to the centre of the hockey universe.
This deal is great for the Leafs. With Phaneuf, they get a solid blue liner to build their defence on for years to come. Sure a lot of people say this hasn’t been a great year for him, and it hasn’t, but it’s not like he’s been SO bad; he’s just not been Phaneuf great. It’ll be good for him to leave Calgary where he’ll now get opportunities to start fresh and hopefully help out young Luke Schenn on the way too. That being said, what else can Phaneuf do on a team that basically gutted its frontline to get him? Well he adds scoring from the line and physical play, that’s for sure, but we’re losing some key forwards in this deal.
Heading Calgary’s way are Ian White, Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers. As a fan you grow used to seeing guys in the lineup and it’s sad to see them go.
Out of these four, I’m going to miss Ian White’s game the most. That guy brings his game every night. It seems each year he’s the odd man out of the lineup at training camp, but proves himself to not just make the team, but get great minutes. When it comes to Matt Stajan I know he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, but he’s a great professional, did his job and still managed to be one of the top scorers on the team. I need a new jersey now that he’s outta here too. Bah.
I’m hoping, no praying, that more deals are in the works to bring offense to this club. I don’t want any player above 25, and I’m sure Burke is thinking along those lines. Given salary cap situations I’m sure Burke will have to get creative, as long as he makes a deal that looks out for the team’s future.
In the Phaneuf deal Calgary also sent along defenceman Keith Aulie and winger Fredrik Sjostrom. The Leafs also made another trade, acquiring goalie J.S. Giguere for Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala. This was a great deal because Giggy can now give some tutelage to Jonas Gustavsson; something I don’t think Toskala could provide.
What are your thoughts on the wheelings and dealings of GM Brian Burke and what else do you see down the pipeline? Because the trade deadline is still like a month away. Let’s begin the speculation now!