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"Leaf Realist"
ON • Canada • 40 Years Old • Male
When the Leafs made the deal to acquire Dion Phaneuf (as well as Aulie and Sjostrom), there were comments of realism and nonsense. Some heard the big name on the radio or saw it in headlines and thought Phaneuf= another major piece to the puzzle. Others commented on the number of goals the Leafs sent the other way. And surprisingly, some experts (people who are actually paid for their words) suggested that Calgary may have gotten the most consistent/valuable player of the deal in Ian White. To comment on the the Leaf goals that people thought the Leafs couldn't replace from Stajan and Hagman- well two things jump out. Do these same people wish that Leaf management had waited for the 2nd or 3rd pick Burke would have gotten at the deadline in exchange for Hagman and Stajan to flourish in 3-4 years? Or, did these fans want Burke to wait and have those players leave for nothing on July 1st? To the comment that Ian White is comparable or ahead of Phaneuf...well rather than comment, I'll let you just laugh right along with me. I tend to side with the first group of critics. Dion Phaneuf is a 24 year old who ALREADY is a Norris trophy candidate and complete player with captain's potential... and yet still has room to grow(mentally and skill wise). He's gives as much excitement and buzz to the arena that has not been heard since the days of Gilmour, Clark, Domi, Tucker, or even Kordic..yes John Kordic. However, Phaneuf's talent and level of physical play has not only brought enthusiasm to Leaf fans, but to the "other" player Burke aquired in the Clagary deal- Luke Schenn. When the leafs brought in a player of Phaneuf's ability, tenacity, truculance, pugnacity and any other word Brian Burke has taught the hockey world, it instantly had an impact on Luke's game and raised it to a level in which he seems like a new player. Brian Burke is a big picture type of guy- Watching Phaneuf's level of compete, willingness to stand up for teammates, and giving up the body to block shots will only help Schenn grow as a player. The player the Leafs fans thought they had lost from last year when Schenn showed rookie dominance and then regressed imeasurably this year, will be reborn. So, not only did Burke acquire a player who IS one of the top ten d-man in the league - he also acquired a player who will be a major factor in helping Luke Schenn to become one of the top 10 d-man in the league- So, essentially, one can say that Burke "re-acquired" Schenn in the deal. And the best part- they are 24 and 20 respectively. It may well be a happy decade in Leaf land.
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