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Calgary, AB • Canada • 37 Years Old • Male
Lets pose this question not just to Flames fans but also to hockey fans. Dion's defensive play is being over shadowed by Todd Bertuzzi's horrible +/- rating. Dion has the second worst +/- on the team, now some may say that's because he averages 28:03 in ice time so there is more of chance for goals against. If that was true then Robyn Regher with his 22:10 average in ice time should not be +5, even Jerome with his 21:36 is a +1. Even Dion's defensive partner is only a -4 (Mark Giordano), Adam Pardy is a +2, Aucoin is a -2 and Sarich is also -2.

So is +/- really that important or is it just a stat for the hardcore? If you take last years stats most of the Flames d-men where on the + side, only Warrener and Eriksson where on the negative side. A question the was posed on the Fan 960 on friday to Pierre McGuire was should the Flames move Dion up to forward due to his play this season. McGuire responded only on the power play but keep him back 5 on 5. I few teams have tried this move this season. In Minnesota Brett Burns has been moved up to forward and back and in Chicago BYFUGLIEN. If the Flames acquired Jay Bouwmeester should they try Dion up front?

Feel free to leave comments on the Subject.
Filed Under:   Calgary   Flames   Bertuzzi   Phaneuf   Iginla  
December 21, 2008 8:24 PM ET | Delete
/- in most hockey experts minds is the most useless stat, I wouldn't say he is a defensive liability but more prone to gettig scored on while he's on the ice because he is on the ice so much, and he needs to have a pure defensive guy with him. Typically when vandermeer plays with him there's very little issues. Most G.M.'s will tell you Dion is imposing to play against and an extremely hard hitter. He was a norris candidate last year so I think the d position suits him pretty well!
December 21, 2008 11:44 PM ET | Delete
Dion's future is as a D-man, not a winger, and I don't really see the long-term benefit of playing him as a forward. He has the hitting and the offensive side of things down, and we all know he now has to improve his defensive zone play. (Sutter even said before the season started that Dion has to work on his development in that area). Don't forget how young Phaneuf still is. We have a 23 year old playing half an hour a night. And for the most part, he's pretty darn good when he's out there. If he hits 28 and is still a serious "minus" player...well, then I'll start worrying a little more. Let him keep developing into the elite D-man we all hope he'll be. He's close. He should get there.
December 22, 2008 6:31 AM ET | Delete
I watch the Flames a pretty fair amount, and Phaneuf is certainly not a liability. He works hard to be in position and to mind the front of the net when he is supposed to. He is certainly not like Regehr, where Regehr is instinctive and purely dominates. But he is also not a liability. He wins his share of pucks in his own zone, not only from a physical standpoint. As for the /-, if we are using that as a measuring tool, he is 18 for his career even with this year's -9. So you either throw out the /- as a measure of his defensive ability, or you have to account for his career 18. Simply using this year's -9 doesn't cut it.
December 22, 2008 6:33 AM ET | Delete
I watch the Flames a pretty fair amount, and Phaneuf is certainly not a liability. He works hard to be in position and to mind the front of the net when he is supposed to. He is certainly not like Regehr, where Regehr is instinctive and purely dominates. But he is also not a liability. He wins his share of pucks in his own zone, not only from a physical standpoint. As for the /-, if we are using that as a measuring tool, he is plus 18 for his career even with this year's minus 9. So you either throw out the plus/minus as a measure of his defensive ability, or you have to account for his career plus 18. Simply using this year's minus 9 doesn't cut it.
December 22, 2008 6:34 AM ET | Delete
I watch the Flames a pretty fair amount, and Phaneuf is certainly not a liability. He works hard to be in position and to mind the front of the net when he is supposed to. He is certainly not like Regehr, where Regehr is instinctive and purely dominates. But he is also not a liability. He wins his share of pucks in his own zone, not only from a physical standpoint. As for the plus/minus, if we are using that as a measuring tool, he is plus 18 for his career even with this year's minus 9. So you either throw out the plus/minus as a measure of his defensive ability, or you have to account for his career plus 18. Simply using this year's minus 9 doesn't cut it.
December 22, 2008 8:59 AM ET | Delete
He's not a liability, but he's not an exceptional defensive player. He's capable of being better, and I expect that to come in time. I also agree with BarryB that /- is a subjective stat, at best.
December 22, 2008 3:03 PM ET | Delete
HE's 23!!!!!! this should always be taken into account when talking about 'neuf. He's still learning one of the hardest positions in hockey and doing it pretty freaking well. How long did it take Lidstrom to get his first Norris nomination??? Phaneuf got his in his 3rd year... that being said, he's still very young.
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