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About Dion Phaneuf
One of the most intimidating blueliners in the game today, Dion Phaneuf is arguably the best open ice hitter since Scott Stevens. Even as a rookie with the Calgary Flames he struck fear into the hearts of veteran forwards ten years his senior, players wisely wary after seeing the carnage Phaneuf was capable of creating on the ice.
Phaneuf was a star in his early years with the Calgary Flames, but much like P.K. Subban today, there was a wildness to his game that saw him labelled as a high-risk, high-reward type of player. However, since arriving in Toronto in 2010 as part of a blockbuster trade, Phaneuf has become a rock on the blueline for the Leafs. His leadership and his demeanor saw him earn the team captaincy.
Though his point totals have dropped from their highs in his early years with the Flames he remains an offensive weapon from the blueline, and his point shot on the powerplay ranks him just behind players like Zdeno Chara, Shea Weber and P.K. Subban amongst the hardest shooters in the league. In the last year of his contract Phaneuf might not be in Toronto this time next year, but if the Leafs can manage to sign him he will be a pillar of their blueline for nearly a decade to come.