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03-08-2013, 04:14 PM
Ricky Bobby
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Originally Posted by EucaLEAFtys View Post
Just because he's a left-shot defenceman, it doesn't mean that he should be playing on the left side of the ice. IIRC, Phaneuf has always played on the right side and he's been very comfortable there, not to mention being at his offensive and physical best. Therefore, his proper side IS the right side.

Since his move to the left side, his defence has somewhat improved, but his offence has been significantly reduced, and for an offensive defenceman, that's never a good thing.

Now he's not much better than an average two-way defenceman on a god-awful contract. If that's what Carlyle is trying to turn him into, then they might as well trade Phaneuf for the best return they can get.

As far as Gunnarsson goes, I highly doubt that he'll be the odd-man out, given his current cost-effective contract, his up-coming RFA status, and his strong, reliable play. If anything, Liles and Komisarek will likely be dealt before him. With the salary cap dropping next season, the Leafs will likely want to keep an inexpensive reliable guy like Gunnarsson on the roster, not move him.
Carlyle would disagree with you about what side Phaneuf should play on and his opinion is what matters most.

Personally I think Phaneuf is better on the left side because his D is much improved and offensively he's starting to come around. Pro-rated he'd be on pace for a 40 point season so it's not as if he can't still produce points on that side. His offensive pace has also improved the more he has played there.

For other left D we've also got Gardiner, Rielly and possibly even Ranger who all far higher upside. Fraser is one tough SOB as a bottom pairing guy and Carlyle definitely wants that in his lineup.

Gunnarson is a nice D but we'd be trading from a position of strength to address an area of weakness. He might not be gone this season but I'd be surprised if he's still with the team after next season.

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