Rejoice Leaf fans! You’ve got what you’ve wanted. Captain Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player deal yesterday afternoon.
Leafs GM Lou Lamereillo made his first big move as the Leafs manager in trading Dion Phaneuf and a bunch of prospects, for Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen, prospect Tobias Lindberg and a 2017 second round pick. It looks like a win-win for both teams. For the Leafs perspective, they clear cap space, and as for the Sens it was to help them in the playoff hunt and solidify Ottawa’s top four, with Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot, Cody Ceci, and now add Dion to the mix.
The Leafs did get some serviceable players, not just cap space. Colin Greening has spent most of the season in the AHL, but can be a solid depth player. Milan Michalek has battled hand injuries all season, and currently has a broken hand, but can provide secondary scoring. Jared Cowen didn’t really pan out in the Nations Capital, being in and out of the lineup often, but he is still a solid top six guy. Tobias Lindberg is a big body, who played on the Memorial Cup winning Oshawa Generals.
I think I was one of very few people who actually liked Dion Phaneuf. Sure he was sloppy at times, but I thought he was a good player with the Leafs. When you’re playing with a minor league defensemen about 28 minutes a night against the opposing team’s top players, of course you’re not going to look good. Dion had to do double the work, since he was pretty much playing by himself his whole time here, and I blame management for not finding an actual good partner for him. He faced a ton of hate and criticism from fans all the time when he was here, and didn’t even complain once, and I truly respect him for that.
All in all, it was a good trade for both sides, but the only thing I didn’t understand was trading “Double Dion” to a division rival. If you see them about 4 times a year, Dion is bound to get revenge on the Leafs, and if that were to happen, and Dion becomes the guy he was in Calgary, boy would that be a great story or what?