The emergence means...Dion can go back to being himself?
You put Dion Phaneuf on a team that already has good goaltending and you're talking of a #1D that plays 30 mins and puts up 40-50 points.
You put Dion Phaneuf on the Maple Leafs with bad goaltending and you're talking about an overpaid, overrated, defenseman that still manages to put 40-50 points while playing 30 mins against tough competition.
Phaneuf is Phaneuf...we really need him, despite the hate he gets from the media, fans of other teams, frustrated Leaf fans etc (I mean which Leaf doesn't?).
It means our Powerplay will be very good. Rielly setting up Kessel and Phaneuf could be magic. Kadri could fit in great on that unit playing the Pat Kane roll along the wall as well if he pans out; and one of Biggs/Lupul/Kulemin/JVR can provide a solid net presence in front.
If Phaneuf and Rielly develop chemistry I can see Dion having multiple 15 + goal years in the Blue and White, perhaps even hitting the 20 goal mark once more.
I don't think it means anything to Phaneuf, other than he'll likely see his minutes slip a little. IMO, Gardiner's ceiling is a #3 guy on this team. Phaneuf is a top pairing guy and Rielly has the potential to be a good #1 in the league. I think our defense will shape up very well in the future, but I'd like to see another big, defensive guy added to the third pairing (maybe MacWilliam?). In 2-3 years I see the team looking like:
I'm assuming that Liles, Franson and Ranger no longer playing with the team. That'd be a nice team and we'd still have Percy and Finn in the minors! Pretty crazy if you ask me. Our defensive depth is out of this world.
Why'd you trade Phaneuf? Even if Gardiner an Rielly become as good players as projected, there's absolutely no reason to trade Dion, unless his game slips, of course. Having a solid defense for once wouldn't hurt.
He'll be a fantastic bottom pairing guy if he does adjust. He would have been a Top 4 at the very least if he had not left due to very personal and understandable reasons.
He's not permitted to join the Leafs with just an AHL contract, he'll have to take positive strides and earn a two-way next offseason, or potentially be signed to a new two-way deal if he impresses during the season. I am saying this because I am of the understanding that his contract is specifically an AHL contract. I could be wrong, but I believe that is the case.
The Leafs have them right in their back yard, and will keep close tabs on his play.
Could be a very good "free wallet" for them.
Ranger is on an AHL contract, so as you suggest he will need an NHL contract to play in the NHL again.
However it should be noted for clarity sake (realizing you likely know this), that he isn't technically Leafs property nor do they have exclusive rights to him, because he is on a PTO (professional tryout contract) with the Marlies.
Any team at any time could offer him a NHL contract to make him their exclusive property thereafter. Ranger could end his PTO and is free to sign, almost like he is a UFA at present. His current contract only a means to legally be allowed to play in the AHL at this time.
Signature: There is no greater demonstration of Fan patience then to suggest to "Play the Kids " and be willing to accept the consequences of those actions..
Dion has AMPLE time to be a strong core for us, not that he hasn't already. Just because we have two good defensemen prospect coming up and even if they become stronger than Dion. Dion has a lot of value to our team. There really isn't anyone in our team that can replacement as of yet or in the system. When Rielly and Gardiner starts becoming what they are projecting, Dion will get a HELL of a partner. He's going to be enjoying those sweet ass passes so he can boom them into the back of the net.
Burke also realizes that mobile defensemen are a very important aspect to the current NHL, so he isn't moving away from that plan now. Not to mention there isn't many hard core shooting defensemen in our team. So let's sit back and enjoy this influx of talented defensemen we are getting and hope for the best.
You guys can stop putting ranger in the lineup it's been publically clear he doesn't want to play in the NHL
Go watch his video on maple leafs.com. He quite clearly indicates that the objective is to get back to where he was... AKA the NHL. He said being in Toronto is like being home, he said he only considered 1 option which was playing for the Toronto organization.
The guy ranked #1 in fitness testing, i will put money on the table that Ranger ends up on the leafs next year or the year after.