Thread: Value of: Dion Phaneuf
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06-03-2013, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by veedubn1 View Post
People suggesting that moving Dion will in any way help Toronto continue their development are not thinking things through.

1 - This young team needs to keep moving forward. Moving Dion would send us back to the lotto in the 10-15 pick range and there is a strong chance any players acquired won't change duplicate Dion's impact.

2 - Moving Dion would mean we have ZERO top pairing defenseman, and our pipeline currently only has one (Reilly) who projects to be on the top pairing eventually (2-3 years away from that).. and as much as I like Reilly, he doesn't provide Dion's physicality and (again) we don't have anyone in our system who does.

If the Leafs wanted to blow everything up and build around JVR, Kadri, Gards, Reilly and Reims, plummeting back into the NHL basement for another 3-4 years... then moving Dion makes sense.

You'll likely find that Kessel will walk and Lupul would asked to be traded leaving us with only two top 6 forwards... given our current prospect pool (bunch of 3rd/4th liners) it will be some time before their numbers/impact can be replaced.

Trading our Captain is a signal that the rest of the team needs to be scrapped outside of Reims and the guys currently on the club that are 23 and younger.
Sometimes a team has to take a step or two backward in order to move a few steps forward, and to be quite honest about it, I have absolutely no problem with that. The team can still compete without Dion, provided they can put together (and roll) three solid defence-pairings who can effectively play Carlyle's defensive system. They can then later integrate youngsters like Rielly when they are completely ready to join the NHL roster.

Teams have found some measure of success in the past without having any legitimate top-pairing defencemen on them. To compensate for this, such teams implemented and executed a strong defensive system (the very same defensive system the Leafs have already begun to play). All the Leafs need to do (as stated above) is put together three solid defensive pairings and properly execute the system on a nightly basis. They don't need Phaneuf for that, but they do need Dion to trade for the high-end prospects the Leafs so desperately need right now to improve their team down the road.

Trading Dion would not signal a total re-building of the team just because he's currently the Captain of the Leafs. The captaincy can be given to someone else prior to Dion being traded, thus the team wouldn't skip a beat going forward.

The point is, the Leafs can compete (and succeed) without Dion; they'll have to sooner or later). I would just rather see it happen sooner rather than later.

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