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02-06-2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny_rudeboy View Post
I would not mind to see both of them gone but Phaneuf is slowly winning me over for several reasons.

1: He have improved his play a lot. He still lacks hockey sense but playing in a defensive minded system somewhat makes up for that.
2: Having some one with his physical attributes and may I say mental attributes (he clearly dont let a few mistakes or a poor game get to his head) on the blue line is not a bad thing. Problem is he is played to much.
3: He really thus seem to enjoy being the captain of the Leafs even now when we are kind of rebuilding and I dont think we would find many players hitting their prime who want to be part of that.
4: Sure, his text message to Reilly when he got drafted is perhaps not something he is the only captain to do on draft day but once he become captain one of the first things he did was to turn up (by his own will so I understand) to the prospects camp to talk to them and wish them welcome to the Leafs. To me that sounds like he really seeing him self as the senior figure (with few older ones around telling him what what they would have done) who will help the young ones when they turn pro.
5: He have a lot of offensive potential, he is just not getting the pucks on target right now but he have proved in the past that he is good for anything between 10-20 goals per season.
6: You wont find many players who combine his main attributes, and certainly not ones who will come to Toronto.
I agree with this, some awesome points. As much as I sometimes say I want to trade Phaneuf for prospects gotta appreciate what he is doing for the younger guys in the organization. I mean he will take a lot of pressure of guys like Gardiner and Rielly to come in and be the number one dman. What would happen if we traded him? We would be expecting those two to come in and blow us out of the water (look at Schenn, he was the captain to be, etc..). By keeping Phaneuf and making him a key piece of the team it allows that not to happen, while giving us a serviceable dman that can play 22-25 minutes a night of decent hockey. When Rielly or Gardiner finally take over the #1 spot, and Dion steps back playing #2 or 3 we will appreciate what he can do a lot more.

In hindsight I think the best core players to trade would be Kessel and Grabo. Kessel because we would get an awesome return with a quality blue chip prospect and likely another good young player. He is a great scorer and play maker, but he is not a building block for any team, and that is what he is currently used as. He could instead be traded for said building block whom you could combine with Rielly, Phaneuf, Gardiner, JvR, Kadri and Lupol to have a skillful core. Kind of like how Columbus traded Carter. He was a good player, but not the right player for their situation. Now they have JJ, who has been awesome for them and I think will be a great core player going forward (probably even the captain). Grabo is just personal preference. I think he is a great center and love having him, but I think he is better suited on another team. He is getting older likely won't be the same player when this team is at its best, so we could instead get another quality player for him.

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