Leafs Land Phaneuf!
The Leafs have acquired Keith Aulie, Dion Phaneuf and Fred Sjostrom from Calgary for Matt Stajan, Ian White, Jamal Mayers and Nik Hagman.
There is another deal pending with another team as per Brian Burke during his press conference.
Aulie is a massive blueliner at 6’6 and was a former WJC member. He will add depth as the leafs lack blueline prospects after Schenn and Gunnarsson.
Sjostrom is a PK specialist and has lots of speed.
Phaneuf is the centrepiece however. He’s been an allstar and a stud on D, except for the last couple of seasons where he has seemed to regressed.
But here is a blueliner who can skate, hit, score and be a punishing. Clearly he needed a change and with the Leafs, he will get that chance.
The Leafs, with the season going down the tubes are in rebuild/build/win now mode and Phaneuf will bring all of those components. He is very young still and how with he and Kessel, there are two young studs to build around.
The Flames get 2 expiring contracts, but two affordable ones. Mayers and Stajan are UFAs at years end. Stajan is a young centre who may be a cheaper option than re-signing Jokinen.
Hagman is very affordable at 3 mil and him and Jokinen are what the Flames hope to form a 2nd unit. They have some chemistry playing together for the National Team.
White is a tough loss for Toronto who was the Leafs top blueliner the last 2 years. He is in a contract year and could be expensive to re-sign but nowhere near as expensive as Phaneuf. He is a character guy and a classic westerner who should fit in well with the Flames.
Outside of beating the hapless Oilers, the Flames were terrible and needed a shakeup. With Bouwmeester, Regehr, Phaneuf, they had lots of big ticket dmen but little depth up front. This deal helps that but still doesnt take away too much off the backend.
It will be interesting to see what Burke has left to do and from what the roster looks like now with expiring contracts and other tradeable parts, plus perhaps Kaberle available in the summer, its going to get exciting in Leaf Nation.