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Title - Chris Savard
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Trading away Phaneuf would be a mistake for the Maple Leafs
By Chris Savard
HometownHockey.ca

Trading away Phaneuf would be a mistake for the Maple Leafs
There has been lots of speculation lately that the Dave Nonis and the Toronto Maple Leafs are thinking about trading away team captain Dion Phaneuf. The most speculated destination for Phaneuf is to his hometown Edmonton Oilers. Another team rumoured to be interested is the New Jersey Devils, now that they have cap room following Ilya Kovalchuk’s retirement.
PHOTO CREDIT - MapleLeafs.com

Stoney Point - July 18, 2013 - There has been lots of speculation lately that the Dave Nonis and the Toronto Maple Leafs are thinking about trading away team captain Dion Phaneuf. The most speculated destination for Phaneuf is to his hometown Edmonton Oilers. Another team rumoured to be interested is the New Jersey Devils, now that they have cap room following Ilya Kovalchuk’s retirement.

Clearly, being the captain of the hockey team in the most scrutinized NHL market has to be one of the toughest gigs going in the NHL. Since arriving in Toronto midway through the 2009-10, Phaneuf has scored 112 points in 222 games. That works out to just over 0.50 points per game and is very respectable for any defencemen.

Phaneuf plays big minutes on a team that has been outscored by 127 goals over the last four seasons. Despite this, he has averaged a plus minus rating of -5 over his three and a half seasons with the Buds. Not bad at all considering that he is always on the ice against the top players on the opposing teams.

Phaneuf scored some big goals this past season and is a big reason that the Leafs made the playoffs. Far too much attention has been paid on his untimely pinch in Game Four of the playoff series against the Boston Bruins.

As a captain should, he didn’t shy away from the heat in the post-game scrum. “It was a bad mistake,” he said. “At a bad time to make it ... What else do you want me to say?”

Phaneuf will make $5.5 million for the 2013-14 season and will become an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the year. I liked the trade for Phaneuf when Brian Burke stole him from the Calgary Flames. I like Phaneuf as the Leafs captain and he has proven to be an important piece of the Maple Leafs rebuilding plans.

Trading him or not signing him after next year would be a huge mistake for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Welcome aboard!
Hometown Hockey is pleased to welcome two new columnists to our team - Ashley March and Chris Ostrander. Ashlely who is from Cornwall, Ontario will cover the Ottawa 67’s, Kingston Frontenacs and provide her thoughts on various other hockey topics. Chris has been running the succesful Two in the Box blog for a number of years now and will be providing insight on the Buffalo Sabres. Welcome to you both!

We are looking to grow our coverage of all NHL and OHL teams. HometownHockey.ca offers a very generous revenue sharing opportunity for our Columnists. If you are interested in learning more details about writing for us, please CONTACT US.

Follow Us on TwitterIn his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at csavard@ourhometown.ca








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