I posed this question on our facebook page yesterday: If the Toronto Maple Leafs do well without Dion Phaneuf during his suspension, will this mean he is on the trade block? One of the answers I got was that this was a stupid question because the suspension is only 2 games. Here is the thing with Phaneuf though, his absence from the line up will have a huge impact on the Leafs. Phaneuf plays upwards of 30 minutes a game and is definitely the Leafs number one defenceman in terms of ice time but I question whether he is number 1 in talent.
Before you get your panties in a twist I am not saying that Phaneuf wasn’t talented at one point in his career. I can’t speak to that because I didn’t watch him when he was in Calgary. Right now Phaneuf leaves much to be desired, at least in my opinion. Dion seems to have lost his edge and even though he’s on the ice for a half an hour he only manages one or two good plays a game.
The two games that Phaneuf will miss are the games against the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues. These teams are sitting at 4th and 7th in the league respectively. These are two amazing teams that the Leafs would have a tough time beating with Phaneuf let alone with him out of the line-up. If the Leafs can beat these teams without Dion it would more than prove they don’t need him. The team puts a lot on Phaneuf and I personally don’t think we need to. I think if Morgan Rielly gets put in for Mark Fraser the Leafs will have no problem beating these two teams especially with the return of Joffrey Lupul.
If the Leafs can move Phaneuf it would be a way better move than Jake Gardiner. You have veteran defense in John-Michael Liles, you don’t need Dion Phaneuf to guide these young defenseman. Gardiner has amazing potential and to lose him without gaining the full benefit of him fully realizing it would be a huge mistake.
What do you think? Will the Leafs win tonight without Phaneuf? If they do does that mean they can afford to trade him? What could they get for him? Share your thoughts in the comment box below, on twitter, or on facebook!