May 10, 2013, 2:03 PM EST
For one Toronto columnist, Dion Phaneuf‘s bad pinch during overtime of Wednesday’s Game 4 that led to the Bruins’ game-winner, and a 3-1 series lead for Boston, was the last straw.
The pinch on Boston winger Nathan Horton wasn’t even the first time that night that Phaneuf went for the big hit at the blueline, missed and created a Bruins scoring chance. He also gambled with the puck too often in the third period, creating anxious moments.
Phaneuf is 28. He’s been in the league eight seasons, yet continues to make the same mistakes as when he arrived.
The longer Phaneuf stays on the ice, the greater the chance one of those egregious decisions leads to a loss. He played 31:14 on Wednesday – minutes worthy of a No. 1 defenceman – and should not.
Hence, Shoalts believes general manager Dave Nonis should put the Maple Leafs’ captain on the trade market “no later than the NHL draft at the end of June.”
And if you think Shoalts is overreacting, he isn’t alone in raising the possibility of moving Phaneuf.
Writes Tim Wharnsby of CBC.ca:
His latest mistake simply magnified the fact that, in his eighth year, this hard-hitting, smooth-skating defenceman continues to make the same mistakes he did as a raw rookie with the Calgary Flames in 2005.
The 28-year-old Phaneuf has one more season left on his $6.5-million-per-year contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis will have to make a decision on Phaneuf in the next several weeks because a lot of the blockbusters these days are made at the NHL draft.
Phaneuf isn’t the only big name on the Leafs’ roster who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season. Sniper Phil Kessel is in that boat, too.
At this point, it may be easier to see Kessel re-signing, given Nonis recently awarded a big contract extension to linemate Joffrey Lupul.
Dec 5, 2013, 3:08 PM EST
Still unclear what ails the 27-year-old defenseman.
Dec 5, 2013, 2:44 PM EST
“Here we are now and it’s a chance for us to grow as a team and work on some things that need fixing and turn in a good effort,” Blues d-man Kevin Shattenkirk said.
Dec 5, 2013, 2:35 PM EST
Which led to Montreal’s game-tying goal against New Jersey.
Dec 5, 2013, 2:03 PM EST
News and notes from the crease…
Dec 5, 2013, 1:42 PM EST
Dallas Eakins sends the pair of d-men to the press box.
Dec 5, 2013, 1:20 PM EST
Detroit’s absolutely ravaged by injuries right now.
Dec 5, 2013, 1:12 PM EST
Sports legal analyst Eric Macramalla answers that question and more.
Dec 5, 2013, 12:45 PM EST
Pittsburgh hosts San Jose tonight, not coincidentally.
Dec 5, 2013, 12:34 PM EST
Yet another question for Glen Sather to answer.
Dec 5, 2013, 12:11 PM EST
“We’ve got one of the better goaltenders in the world here.”
Dec 5, 2013, 11:51 AM EST
Dec 5, 2013, 11:50 AM EST
Left the morning skate early.
Dec 5, 2013, 11:37 AM EST
Been a brutal season injury-wise.
Dec 5, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
If it isn’t, it’s on life support.
Dec 5, 2013, 11:24 AM EST
Sounds like D’Amigo could make his NHL debut tonight.
Dec 5, 2013, 10:42 AM EST
“He’s working very hard, he’s very focused and I think he’ll do a good job for them.”
Dec 5, 2013, 9:55 AM EST
They’re 0-for-5 now.
Dec 5, 2013, 8:58 AM EST
They’ve been shut out three times in five games.
Dec 5, 2013, 8:01 AM EST
Thursday’s collection of links.
Dec 5, 2013, 1:07 AM EST
The Calgary defenseman was sidelined since Oct. 21.
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 57
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 6
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 18
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 56
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 3
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 27
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 42
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 53
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 15
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (67)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (58)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension (42)