Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dion Phaneuf comes in from the cold

When the hockey world last assessed Dion Phaneuf he was considered the most overrated player in the league based on his peers. He was banished from the Flames along with his "abrasive" personality and huge contract for odds and ends. The Maple Leafs were ridiculed last season for appointing Phaneuf their captain. Things were not looking too good.

Today he is once again considered one of the best defensemen in the NHL and his coach, although somewhat biased, is quoted as saying he is the "best defenceman in the league by a country mile."He is tied for 13th in scoring and tied for 3rd in scoring for defensemen with 11 points his +7 is tied for 3rd in the NHL.

He is now a true leader and playing an average of 26:35 minutes per game which is 5th highest total in the league. He and Phil Kessel are major reasons why the Leafs have had such a strong start to the season. As they say, their best players are actually their best players. In the fact the trades that brought those two players to the Leafs never looked better than now.

At the end of last season, Phaneuf started showing the form that made him a Norris Trophy candidate during his first two seasons in Calgary, racking up five goals and seven assists in the month of March alone. He hasn’t missed a beat since then, starting off the 2011-12 campaign where he had left off. He is the stud defenseman the Leafs really haven't had since the days of Borje Salming.

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