Dan Hamhuis does not appear in the top 50 for the 2012-2013 campaign.
Regardless, a league-wide top five defenseman will surely play over anyone currently on the Canucks.
From NHL.com's top 50 Defensemen:
"Dion Phaneuf always plays the game hard. Every time he throws a check he makes sure you will feel it. Last year, it was 214 of them. Like several other defenders in the league, he is a complete player. He has offensive talent, matched with a tough presence on the blueline."
Phaneuf posted 44 points in Toronto last year. The Leafs were taking huge strides and making a strong push for the playoffs until injuries halted that. Phaneuf and company will look to get back on track and make the playoffs.
1.) If Phaneuf is as good as suggested, then Burke would be overpaying in a major way, no? Most folks would scoff at the idea of Loungo being traded for any other top-2 d-man. Would Burke really trade away a 27 year old guy who is one of the top d-men in the NHL (as is being suggested) in order to plug his net? He would be be gaining a goalie while making his defense that much worse. This just doesn't make much sense to me.
2.) If Burke did make Phaneuf available, what would it mean?
a. Would it be a sign that Burke is desperate enough to trade away such a quality player? If this was the case, rather might not Burke be exploited in a way more useful to fill Canuck team needs - take a lesser roster player (3C or RW), and quality picks/prospects rather than Phaneuf? Heck, even in addition to Phaneuf?
b. Or, is it a sign that Burke realizes that Phaneuf is overpaid for his worth, and therefore is expendable to the first team to which he can be unloaded, and if it's for an asset the Leafs really need then all the better?
3.) Assuming Phaneuf was traded here, where would he play? There could be a lot of moves made necessary in order to fit in just one guy.
I believe he's usually a left side d-man, something of which the Canucks have in abundance. Assuming he does play the left side, who moves over and/or is traded? I suspect that Ballard is the guy on top of many people's lists of who gets moved out. Were Phaneuf traded here, I could see Ballard going to Toronto with Luongo, just to make room on the Canucks' blueline, and as something to help Burke plug the hole on his blueline.
(And yes, there would have to be "something else" going to Vancouver with Phaneuf to even out the cap hit.)
4.) Assuming Phaneuf was traded here, how's he going to fit with the cap structure of the team? He'd become the highest paid player on the Canucks.
With a lot of guys reaching UFA status next year, someone would have to be let go, or perhaps be traded (beyond those who would already be moving on). Once again, it looks like a lot of moves made necessary in order to try an fit in one guy.
Phaneuf has two years left on his deal. Assuming he would like to stay here, what would he want to remain a Canuck? Who will have to be moved out in order to pay Phaneuf? I suspect that Edler would have to be moved (even with the changes to the new CBA).
Assuming Gillis doesn't make Phaneuf an offer which appeals to him, Phaneuf could walk. So, in two years time the d-corps could look like: Bieksa, Garrison, Hamhuis, Tanev and various other prospects or maybe UFA signings. Ballard (see #3), Edler (traded due to cap considerations) and Phaneuf would be gone.
I'd like to see some kind of greater gain for two years (now 1.5) of Phaneuf.
5.) Assume Phaneuf was traded here, and he did make the difference in winning a Cup in either of the two years he was here. Also assume that everything listed above ensued from trading for Phaneuf (other player moves, cap issues, all in order to make room for Phaneuf).
Would two years of Phaneuf, and a Cup, versus all of the team changes related to cap issues and making room for Phaneuf resulting in a weaker team in three years time, be worth it to you?
Or, would you prefer to take a chance on a team which has the potential to win a Cup in the next two years, even without Phaneuf, and be stonger for years to come with the addition of some decent roster players and good prospects/picks?
Edited by Gollumpus, 12 November 2012 - 02:40 PM.
Following the Canucks since before Don Cherry played here.