Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/13/14 at 09:12 AM ET
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
In Calgary, Brian Burke — who made Phaneuf the Leafs captain when Burke was the Leafs GM — is the Flames president of hockey operations. Phaneuf would be Calgary’s second-best blue-liner behind Mark Giordano.
In Edmonton, Phaneuf’s hometown, he would immediately step in as the Oilers’ best defenceman — which isn’t what Phaneuf needs.
In San Jose, Phaneuf’s offence and power-play blast could offset the pending absence of Dan Boyle, should Boyle not return. And he would be surrounded by a defensive group that could afford Phaneuf less time defending in key situations, as he is asked to do in Toronto.
In St. Louis, the feeling was that Chicago’s major advantage was a second defensive pairing that was vastly superior to the Blues’. Would Phaneuf change that? Yes, he would — as a second-pairing guy. Not a one-two.
Of course, the question becomes this: Can a $7 million cap hit (for seven more seasons) ever be considered a second-pairing defenceman? Answer: he can if he’s a $5.25 million player, with the Leafs retaining 25 per cent of Phaneuf’s salary.
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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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