Sorry everyone. I know this will disappoint you.
Since the season ended, Toronto Maple Leafs fans have clamored for the trade of Dion Phaneuf. Well, I don’t see it happening now.
The acquisitions of Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak were both made to make the Leafs a harder team to play against when it comes to the defense. However, there was another reason the Leafs brought them in. The two veterans are coming to Toronto to take some of the pressure off of Phaneuf.
So, why bring in these guys to take the pressure off of Phaneuf if you’re going to trade Phaneuf? The answer is you don’t.
Polak and Robidas will each probably be playing with one of Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner. That will leave either restricted free agent Cody Franson or rookie Petter Granberg to play with Phaneuf. With a veteran on each pairing, the Leafs should be able to divide the ice time pretty evenly among their defensive pairings.
All this should allow for the Leafs defense to perform better as a group. As for Phaneuf, perhaps he won’t have to be the bearer of the fan’s wrath for much longer. Who knows, maybe even another trade is on the way and the Leafs defense core is still not being remodeled.