by PuckStopsHere on 02/10/16 at 04:17 PM ET
Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs traded their captain Dion Phaneuf. The return is nothing that should excite the Leaf fans. It looks like Milan Michalek who has 10 points so far this year is the best player in their return. This is a move that further tears down the Leafs. Their goal was to get rid of Phaneuf because it isn't clear how this trade makes the Leafs a better team in the near term or in the longer term since they don't bring in any significant prospects.
Toronto is currently a last place team and this move makes them worse. It isn't a sensible move under the premise of tanking for a better draft pick because there is a draft lottery and Toronto already has a good chance at being the team with the best chance of winning.
If we look back a little over a year, Toronto was in a playoff berth when they opted to fire coach Randy Carlyle. Brendan Shanahan made a conscious decision to change course and tear things apart. As a result, Toronto lost last season. They have also lost this season so far and it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.
The most significant positive move Toronto has made under Shanahan is the signing of Mike Babcock to be their coach. He needs players to coach and thus far he doesn't have any. Their top scorer is Leo Komorov who is currently 97th in scoring in the NHL. He is a 29 year old who before this year had never scored more than 8 goals in an NHL season. He isn't a player to build a team around. The defenceman who leads them in ice time is Matt Hunwick. He is 30 years old with 19 career goals. Again he is nobody to build a team around.
It is far easier to tear a team apart than to build one up. Brendan Shanahan has been tearing apart the Toronto Maple Leafs for two seasons. There is no evidence that he can build them back up. Will his legacy in Toronto be breaking the Maple Leafs or will he show an ability to build them
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