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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:47 am 
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I'll tell you what's wrong.....he's far too young to have that fat of a contract.


http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Ca ... 80986.html

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Dion needs to make a point
Even diehard Phaneuf fans are questioning blueliner's game as defensive struggles appear

By STEVE MACFARLANE

From Norris Trophy finalist to all-star game absentee.

That's not exactly the career path envisioned for Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

People think he's taken a step back this season.

Really, he just hasn't taken a step forward.

His game has changed little since coming in as a rookie four seasons ago. Phaneuf has a lot of growing to do. He's just 23 years old.

Don't worry about his offensive game -- he's stalled at just three goals after scoring at least 17 every year -- it's the defensive side of things that has even those fans who were touting him the next great blueliner wondering, "What's wrong with Phaneuf?"

His minus-8 rating is a bigger concern than the paltry goal total. The only other active Flames defenceman who has a negative plus-minus is Adrian Aucoin at negative one. Some are calling Phaneuf the Tony Romo of the NHL.

Folks in Dallas were all over the Cowboys quarterback, believing his starlet girlfriend Jessica Simpson was distracting him from the game.

Dating Elisha Cuthbert has Phaneuf taking the same kind of criticism.

Others suggest Phaneuf is lazy on the ice. Doesn't care enough to get dirty in the corners or mark an open man in front of the net.

"If I read everything that was written about me, and listened to everything that was said about me, you wouldn't feel very good," said Phaneuf, who knows he's under the microscope.

"You've got to take it with a grain of salt."

People in the locker-room and those who watch practice every day know better -- he might care more than anybody on the team. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more intense individual.

But something is definitely wrong. With his size and skill level, improvement should be noticeable.

Maybe he's not listening to his coaching staff. Maybe he's worrying about his offensive numbers falling short of his previously lofty benchmarks rather than concerning himself with the 'little things' that hockey players say make them successful at both ends of the ice but never fully disclose.

Maybe missing the all-star game will help him realize something -- however minor an adjustment it may be -- has to change.

"The NHL does a great job. It's a great weekend to be a part of," Phaneuf said of the all-star events. "Is it disappointing? Yeah. Am I happy about it? No. But the guys that are going definitely deserve to be going.

"I have to keep improving and keep playing my game."

Asking himself, in his answers, as many questions as reporters direct his way, the young $6.5-million man seems to be experiencing a little self doubt.

A thought-provoking pause, about six-seconds long, follows when asked to assess his year on a personal level.

"I think I've had (another brief pause) a pretty good year," he said.

"Am I happy about the plus/minus? No.

"Am I happy about the goals? No.

"But I'm getting opportunities, and getting a lot of shots."

That much is true. He is leading all defencemen in shots for a third straight season.

His assist total is on track, too.

He's on pace for a few more than the 43 he earned a year ago.

"I went close to 20 games last year without a goal. It's not something that's new to me, to be honest with you," said Phaneuf, who scored 11 of his 17 goals last season in the second half. "I'm not going to change anything. It's not a big concern.

"The main thing is that we're winning hockey games. It's not about my personal statistics, it's about where we are as a team. We're in first place (in the division)."

Fair enough, but if Phaneuf wants to make a return to all-star status in the future, a change will have to take place.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Quote:
Even diehard Phaneuf fans are questioning blueliner's game as defensive struggles appear


They didn't just "appear". They've always been there. Sutter said that they sheltered him from defensive responsibilities early in his career. Now, Dion is getting major minutes so those responsibilities increase and his shortcomings are magnified. And it's not as though he's getting the tough assignments. His quality of competition is lower than Regehr, Aucoin, Sarich and Giordano.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:34 pm 
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BoscUlrichIII wrote:
Quote:
Even diehard Phaneuf fans are questioning blueliner's game as defensive struggles appear


They didn't just "appear". They've always been there. Sutter said that they sheltered him from defensive responsibilities early in his career. Now, Dion is getting major minutes so those responsibilities increase and his shortcomings are magnified. And it's not as though he's getting the tough assignments. His quality of competition is lower than Regehr, Aucoin, Sarich and Giordano.

Obviously that means he just doesn't take his competition seriously.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:27 pm 
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He's getting Robyn Regehr's sloppy seconds and he still can't play quality defensive hockey.

Truth is, Dion Phaneuf is Sandis Ozolinsh - a free range defenceman who will simply get beat more often than not. People saw the highlight reel hits and the Canadian passport and assumed he was an all-purpose franchise rearguard. I would suggest Dion is living up to his actual billing, and asking for anything more would be unreasonable.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:18 pm 
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I certainly can't agree with all of The Dion criticism. But I do agree he's getting Regehr's leftovers and not able to step up. There's no mistaking he has the tools and its far too early to call him an Ozolinsh. Besides....Phaneuf would be shaping up to be a very large albatross for the Flames.

My concern especially coming from his quotes is that he appears to have grown complacent if that's because of Cuthbert's loving, fat money, or special treatment......I can't say. He should be working his ass off still. Especially since he appears to be in decline or stagnation.

There's one thing we can agree on though, there's no way that we can give somebody who makes this much money any slack (even at 23). Keenan needs to pull out the tough love card.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:00 pm 
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He's more Jovanovski than Ozolinch if you're going the comparison route. He's still young in his development and I hate these second contracts for that reason... for forwards it's one thing but for D it's ridiculous.

Could he fail to achieve the superstar status? Yes. He's got a lot to learn and it took even Stevens and Pronger a LONG time before they showed the high end results. Heck, even Ray Bourque had to wait a little while.

So much hype for Dion at such a young age... I wouldn't be worried about him long term, but fact is he's struggling THIS year.

I'll say this, though. He looks more like a young Rob Blake than a young Scott Stevens to me. We'll see which direction he goes, but I think he'll always be more on the offensive side than the defensive one in his career.

But hey, I've always been more a Shea Weber fan myself.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:21 pm 
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http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_11439010

At the risk of hijacking the thread I figured this particular Dater article seemed to touch upon the subject of big contracts for potential rather than proven results.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:07 pm 
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saskhab wrote:
He's more Jovanovski than Ozolinch if you're going the comparison route.

That's exactly the player I was thinking of when I first came across this thread... I think Dion has a better shot from the point, though... And similarly, Jovo had some Norris Trophy-love earlier in his career - which promptly ended when he got his whale on... :argh:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:42 pm 
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With Ottawa asking him to waive his NTC for exposure to Vegas.......it makes me resurrect this thread.

I had such high hopes for his guy and it just never panned out. Never seemed to fully embrace his role or mature as 1-2. He made it to a 3-4 and is probably still a 4 or 5. But for 6 million not so much. I guess that's just the way it works sometimes.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:03 pm 
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I don't think the Sens would be upset if Vegas didn't take him. Dion settled in as a nice 2nd pairing defenceman.

The thing is, they need to protect Karlsson, Methot and Ceci first and foremost.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:58 pm 
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E.L. wrote:
I don't think the Sens would be upset if Vegas didn't take him. Dion settled in as a nice 2nd pairing defenceman.

The thing is, they need to protect Karlsson, Methot and Ceci first and foremost.


I dunno...is Ceci really that good? The analytics folks don't seem to think so.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Pokecheque wrote:
E.L. wrote:
I don't think the Sens would be upset if Vegas didn't take him. Dion settled in as a nice 2nd pairing defenceman.

The thing is, they need to protect Karlsson, Methot and Ceci first and foremost.


I dunno...is Ceci really that good? The analytics folks don't seem to think so.


Ceci couldn't get the fucking puck out of his own zone to save his life when I watch him.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:31 pm 
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Bosc wrote:
Ceci couldn't get the fucking puck out of his own zone to save his life when I watch him.


I feel like he's a bit of a smokescreen as well. People see that big shot from the point and ignore everything else.

Wouldn't be shocked if Patrick Wiercioch found his way back to Ottawa.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:13 am 
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You can't continue to keep this guy making 6 mil. How do the Sens unload him? Can they get anybody to take his bad contract? Would the Sens eat some of it? I am assuming he would be included in a package deal maybe with Zac Smith (Elliott and the 960 crew seem to be considering him)? Would Calgary take him back? I don't see any benefit to Calgary in this deal but who else would want the Dion?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:47 pm 
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The Sens are already a budget team and have Dion and Ryan stinking up the books. Untenable situation.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:16 am 
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And what do you know.....the Dion is the first to be on the move before the deadline and his passenger Nate Thompson

https://www.tsn.ca/cash-is-key-for-sena ... s-1.998449

Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore coming back the other way.

Senators eat 25% of the Dion's salary.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:48 am 
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harmfuljays wrote:
And what do you know.....the Dion is the first to be on the move before the deadline and his passenger Nate Thompson

https://www.tsn.ca/cash-is-key-for-sena ... s-1.998449

Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore coming back the other way.

Senators eat 25% of the Dion's salary.


Happiest woman in Canada today: Elisha Cuthbert

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:11 pm 
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E.L. wrote:
Happiest woman in Canada today: Elisha Cuthbert


Least happy person in Hollywood: Wil Wheaton.

https://twitter.com/wilw/status/963604924972978176


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