Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/17/14 at 12:35 PM ET
from Mike Brophy of CBC,
From this little corner of the hockey universe, I see only four players on the Maple Leafs who should be considered untouchables: Bernier, defencemen Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner and left-winger James van Riemsdyk.
All others should be made available to allow Toronto to become a better defensive team that is willing to pay a price for victory. That doesn't mean Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis necessarily has to clean house. But if somebody comes knocking at his door inquiring about the availability of, say, Phil Kessel or Joffrey Lupul, he must listen to offers. If somebody wants to take Phaneuf's seven-year contract that kicks in next season off his hands, Nonis should be all ears.
That said, I am not among those who believe Phaneuf must go. I feel Toronto fans are too tough on the 29-year-old veteran. He is a defenceman who logs more ice time than any other member of the Maple Leafs and plays every game against the opposition's best offensive players. In fact, Phaneuf was having a pretty good year until the final quarter, when the wheels inexplicably came off.
Is he the best choice as captain? Debate among yourselves. But keep in mind, the Maple Leafs don't have many qualified candidates for the job.
After watching this season's playoffs, it should be abundantly clear to those running the Maple Leafs that Tyler Bozak is not the guy who should be centring the top line.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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