Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shaking up the Maple Leafs

I did not expect to wake up this morning on my first non-football "Lazy Sunday" in months to see that the Calgary Flames had traded Dion Phaneuf to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here I had been under the impression that Phaneuf was untradeable, that his combination of physical strength and offensive talent are so unique that when you get a player like him, you keep him. Having said that, it seems that Phanoof has gotten worse each season that he's been in the NHL, suggesting that his body has paid a price for all that hitting, or his competitive spirit is diminishing. I was shocked that he did not make the Olympic team, but in hindsight when you parlay that with them dumping Dion on the Leafs, you have to wonder. Flames fans should be pleased with what they received in return as White and Stajan are quality young players who have yet to reach their ceiling while Hagman and Mayers are useful depth players.

My friend the Leaf's fan just sent me a text message. He's pretty juiced about this deal, but there again he has endured so much pain and suffering in recent years that any Oasis in the desert looks really tasty. His son is 2.5 years old, and despite dad's best efforts the little rascal is already a Canucks fan. The other day my friend turned on a Leafs game and his child proclaimed "this hockey stinks!" My buddy said "I didn't know whether to laugh or spank him." I responded with "this is probably for the best. You live in Vancouver and if he becomes a Leaf fan he'll be teased in school and develop a passive-aggressive personality disorder. Besides, Leafdom is a tortured life, as you well know!"

The Toskala-Blake for Giguere doesn't mean a whole lot to anyone and looks more like a salary shuffle than anything else.  As a life long Red Wings fan, I've really stopped paying attention to the regular season.  I just say "wake me up for the playoffs!"


  1. Boy, my Canucks are leaving a trail of wreckage behind 'em everywhere they go these days, eh?


  2. That Canuck game was an abomination, but I had to be happy for Raycroft in his situation. As for the trades, I'd like to get excited, but I'm more inclined to believe that it's the end of some great players' careers (Giguere's and Phaneuf's) and new life for Hagman and Blake, who worked hard and deserved a better place to expend their energies.