Buh-Bye Dion Phaneuf

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So it’s official. Dion Phaneuf is no longer a member of the Calgary Flames. The rumours that have been circulating for the last week came true today as Dion was shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs with Freddie Sjostrom and Keith Aulie in exchange for Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and Ian White.

In exchange for the notorious defenceman, the Flames get a couple players that can put the puck in the net. Hagman has 20 goals this season, while Stajan becomes the 2nd highest scoring Flames player with 41 points (1 more than Rene Bourque). More importantly, Stajan can score on the powerplay. He has 7 PP goals so far this season.

The Flames also get rid of 2 important things: salary and poison. It is no secret that Dion was a negative influence on the dressing room, and clearing him out could make a big difference to the team’s attitude. Most Flames fans were expecting to get someone like Kovalchuk for Phaneuf. Instead, the Flames get a short-term boost in their scoring output and the opportunity to clear some cap room to make a bigger move at the trade deadline or over the summer. What I like, personally, is that the Flames just gave themselves the ability to keep Backlund in the lineup for the rest of the season.

Overall, the salary cap difference isn’t that big, but it will be. The Flames moved $7,725,000 in salaries for Phaneuf and Sjostrom. They picked up $6,933,000 in return (a difference of $792,000). The big change comes at the end of this season, when Stajan becomes a UFA. Hagman has 2 more years left on his contract, but Mayers’ and White’s contracts are also up at the end of this season. That essentially frees up about $3M in cap space (once you factor in Phaneuf’s $6.5M out the door) for the end of the year. Mayers and White could also be included in the deal when Sutter makes his next blocbuster trade (you know, the one that brings Kovalchuk to Calgary…)

For those that don’t think the offensive difference will be that different, have a look at the Flames stat sheet now:
Phaneuf Trade

I’d say that Toronto was the overall winner after today’s trades (they also traded Toskala for J.S. Giguerre!), but I don’t think that this Phaneuf deal was a bad one for the Flames. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.


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  • OldeBuffalo

    DEON FLAME OUT IN HOGTOWN:

    Deon has proven to be less than spectacular in TO and now he’ll be able to watch his team descend into the depths of the Leafs conference from the sidelines.

    Maybe a little injury time off will help him get over his selfishness and help him adjust to become a team player – something that is completely foreign to him.

  • Nicole

    I was sad to see Phaneuf go for sure… And I think the trade was a mistake on Calgary's part… I mean after the trade look who started winning games. The Leafs. And look who started losing. The Flames. Also the Leafs beat the Senators with a shutout, and the Flames couldn't even touch that.

  • Matt Roberts

    great trade for both teams, i dont think fans of toronto or calgary should hold any resentment towards each other for this. It fit both teams needs to a T.
    Kudos to Burke and Sutter for giving hockey fans something to talk about that isnt fighting or suspension related.

  • Torch

    Don't go trading White out of Calgary just yet. One of the most underrated players in the league. I'm in Ottawa and would have loved this guy on my team. He'll eat up minutes in a top 4 role. Add Hagman and Stajan and it looks very good for Calgary. Mayers, bit of plug, but 4th liner.

  • Anonymous

    Dion is good, sad to see him go, but no where near the hype nor the dollars attached. Remember Calgary was touted has having this impenetrable defense, top of the league. They, meaning the top four, are most over rated bunch out there, starting with Dion. I've been watching him for a long time and it is unfortunate that he was labeled a star so early in his career, he's not. Salary is also a commodity people. Calgary won this deal, hands down.

  • Greg

    Hi Stephane! I agree that both teams are better off after this deal. The fact that the Leafs added Phaneuf and Giguerre today will be huge for them in the future. They do have a pretty good back end when you add Dion to Komisarek, Kaberle and Beauchemin. Their challenge will now be offence, but I don't think Burke is done trading yet. I'm also convinced that Sutter will make some more moves before the trade deadline. I know that Kovalchuk in Calgary is a bit of a pipe dream… but Bouwmeester coming to the Flames was also something I didn't expect. This trade addresses the short-term, but The Flames also need to add an offensive-minded forward if it's going to work in the long term.

    I'll ship Jokinen to MTL for Cammalleri if you like…

  • Anonymous

    Hey Greg,

    I think this deal will work out for both teams, Calgary needed to get some cap space and i think since Bouwmeester arrived that the Flames didn't really need Phaneuf any longer. As for Parkie in YYZ i don't blame you for being all gitty since it will definitely make the Leafs a painful team to play against but Calgary will be able to put these guys in to good use offensively before letting go on the UFA market.

    As for Kovalchuk i doubt he'll end up anywhere north of the border but since your dreaming maybe Atlanta will trade for him for that over paid, over rated fat cat by the name of Oli what's his face, you guys were better off with Cammalleri.

    Oh well in my eyes both Calgary and Toronto have a better GM then my poor Habs, let me know if you ever want to make a Bouwmeester/Hal Gill trade, we'll even throw in Spacek and Bob Gainey!

    Stephane (yeah that's right the one you use to work with in YUL)!

    Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    This should shake up Calgary pretty good, and at least 3 of them can be trade bait or resigned if desired. No long term risk, it's pretty much all about this year.

    Bob in Calgary

  • Greg

    Don't overlook what you're getting in return. Sure Dion's got a big shot and he hits hard, but he still needs to learn how to play responsible defence. He's got some big holes in his game. I'm not saying that Stajan and Hagman are the best thing we could have gotten for Phaneuf, but the big picture in Calgary looks better without Phaneuf. It needed to be done.

  • Parkie

    Thank you so much for taking a streaky scorer, 4th line plug, 3rd line centre and small d-man! It ain't the Gilmour trade but us here in Toronto are always thrilled when a trade with Calgary is completed!

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