the country's worst kept secret in ages: that dion phaneuf was going to be named captain of the toronto maple leafs. the most surprising part was probably that it happened on a monday.
what, you weren't surprised by that ??? yeah.... you're right. me neither.
while i do believe it's totally possible for dion to succeed in toronto (brian burke put all of the betting money on his #1 defender thriving if applauded for being an egotistical loudmouth, and brian burke is no stooge), i also think it's hella early/late days to be saying shit like this:
"... He's a puck-moving defenceman with a gift for scoring, while at the same time is an imposing presence in his own end. The team played much better after he arrived, and his enthusiasm in the room was noticed by coach Ron Wilson."
here's my commentary:
1. throwing around terms like "puck moving defenseman" and "imposing presence" are not necessarily false ---and they were pretty much bang on back in 06/07... currently, i'd say that dion definitely moves pucks towards the net (albeit about 5 feet overtop) and there's no dodging the fact the dude can hit. unfortunately, the hits often come at the expense of the play, and occur mere moments before the puck finds the back of the net he's meant to be defending... plus, i think kaberle is a far stronger puck mover, though nobody seems to want him wearing the new/old stripey leafs sweater.
2. "the team played much better after he arrived," while true, PROBABLY had more to do with the fact that js giguere arrived at the same time. also, ridding ones' team of vesa toskala could be a big contributing factor. oh, and there was also a 'changing of the guard', so to speak, with hagman, stajan, mayers & white's spots being usurped by newbies (which no doubt made some sort of difference). ie: inferring that dion's arrival was the key to a better team might be.... well... embellished (TBD).
3. "a gift for scoring" must be referring to elisha cuthbert, cause there's no way in hell it's referring to anything hockey-related. even leaf fans aren't gonna eat that tripe.
speaking of leaf fans eating tripe: how's that "new" jersey ?