Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf: Does He Deserve the Criticism from Maple Leaf Fans?

November 9th, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke pulled off a seven-player deal that included bringing defense-man Dion Phaneuf over from the Calgary Flames, many Leafs fans were thrilled.

Blessed with a reputation for big hits, big presence and a big shot, Phaneuf looked to be the answer to the Maple Leafs struggles, even if there were rumors that Phaneuf had “flamed” out in Calgary.

Phaneuf’s first steps into the Maple Leafs locker room included a memorable moment in which he headed straight for the stereo, cranked up the tunes and made his presence felt. For many, it marked the turning point in the franchise—this was going to be Dion’s team, come hell or high water.

In his first game action with the Maple Leafs Phaneuf played a rugged game that saw the future captain of the Buds register more than 24 minutes of ice time, hitting everything that moved, taking four shots and getting into a spirited tussle with New Jersey Devils defense-man Colin White.

As good as Phaneuf was in his first game with the Maple Leafs, he has yet to demonstrate that he can or is willing to play that style of game on the ...

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