DION PHANEUF NOW AN OTTAWA SENATOR
The Ottawa Senators have acquired Dion Phaneuf from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Ottawa Senators made a very surprising move today. Bryan Murray has decided to trade the horrible contracts he created for another horrible contract. The upside of the transaction is that the Ottawa Senators have acquired a legitimate defenseman. Some people will paint this trade as being horrible while others will no doubt lavish Bryan Murray with praise. This trade was very shocking but also beneficial to both sides.
The Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs are rivals. The Battle of Ontario pits the two teams against each other with Maple Leafs fans invading the Sens home ice during away games. The two squads definitely do not like each other.
It is strange that Bryan Murray would do something that could benefit his division rival. You do not often see big moves between divisional rivals. This all happened due to a perfect storm of contracts. You do not typically see divisional rivals send their captain to a rival team.
Why would Toronto do this? They were probably ecstatic to get rid of Dion Phaneuf’s contract. They were also a team that could afford to take all of Ottawa’s “bad” contracts which end much sooner than Phaneuf’s.
Dion Phaneuf is a much better defenseman than all of the Senators defenseman, save for Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot. It is rumoured that he will be playing alongside Cody Ceci on the second defensive pairing. One upside to the trade is the Senators actually save 4.2 million dollars by acquiring Phaneuf’s big contract.
A decent analysis of this situation is posted over at SilverSevenSens. Losing Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, and Milan Michalek‘s contracts is huge for the Senators. Any Senators fan knows of Greening making big money to play in the AHL and Cowen being paid big money as a frequently press boxed defender.
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The only real downside to this trade is the huge contract the Senators acquired through obtaining Phaneuf. The only reason I think this trade even happens is because Murray had to clean up the mistakes he made throughout the years. The Leafs and Senators became perfect trading partners as they both wanted to do certain things related to player contracts.
Another potential downside would be if Phaneuf play’s poorly, however I don’t think it is possible for him to make the Senators worse defensively. Phaneuf’s contract helps the Senators now but could hurt them down the road. Losing Tobias Lindberg will also sting if he ends up becoming a great NHL player for the Leafs.
LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS
This trade really came out of left field. It will be interesting to see how Dion fits in on the Senators tonight. It will be surreal to have friends and Senators fans cheering and boasting about a man they once referred to as “Pylon”. That is the neat thing about professional sports, players change teams and suddenly opinions change when a player is on the hometown team.
Will Dion fit in on the Sens? Will Tobias Lindberg develop into a great player for the Leafs? Will the Leafs actually hold onto Greening,Michalek or Cowen? Will the Senators make the playoffs? Bryan Murray certainly hopes Dion Phaneuf can provide some help to that final question.