Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Good Is Dion Phaneuf?

As the Leafs continue their unlikely drive for a playoff spot, team captain Dion Phaneuf scored 2 goals in a critical victory over Carolina, the team above them in the standings. These head to head matches are critical, and the Leafs have manned up and defeated both Carolina and Buffalo in less than a week. In the first few years of his career in Calgary Phaneuf appeared to have unlimited upside. Then his production substantially diminished and he was shipped off to Toronto. He had 60 PTS in his 3rd year, 47 PTS in his 4th year, and 32 PTS in his 5th year (last season). He reminds me a lot of a young Ed Jovanovski with better offensive production. Jovo didn't break 40 until his 7th season, and peaked at 51 PTS in his 12th season.

If you use the Jovanovski career arch, then Dion's best days should be ahead of him. Was his retraction just growing pains, or the result of the physical punishment he endures and dishes out every year? Can you build a franchise around this guy, and if so, why was Calgary so eager to let him go?

1 comment:

  1. The reality is cow town has no cache. If your prepared and treated to become of the higher valued pieces of an organization and then dumped on cause you go through some growing pains, many of us would have acted as Dion in calgary. Toronto is a mega city with plenty to offer young, rich hockey players. Couple that with Brian Burke's commitment to Dion and you get a rejuvinated player looking to take the next step. How quick we are all to forget that D-men take way longer to develop their game. Even if Dion is a super stud he is still a very young guy, its hard to remember that since hes been in the nhl right out of his draft class. As for calgary letting him go, think about the guy who pulled the trigger on that deal. He's no longer with the organization and now look at them, since his departure the team turned itself around, kinda like Dion. Hmmmm do you think those 2 things are linked????