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Dion Phaneuf

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Dion Phaneuf
Dion phaneuf.png
Born April 10, 1985 (1985-04-10) (age 32)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Calgary Flames
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 9th overall, 2003
Calgary Flames
Playing career 2005–present

Dion Phaneuf (born on April 10, 1985) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He has previously also played for the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. Dion was drafted ninth overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

Playing CareerEdit

Junior Playing CareerEdit

The Red Deer Rebels selected Dion in the third round of the 2000 WHL Bantam Draft. One year later, he joined the Rebels for the 2001–02 season and recorded 17 points in 67 games.

He added two assists in 21 games as the Rebels lost in the WHL Final against the Kootenay Ice. He improved to 16 goals and 30 points in 2002–03 as the Rebels again reached the WHL Finals, again losing, this time to the Kelowna Rockets.

Dion's development earned him comparisons to Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, as he was lauded by scouts for his physical style and ability to excel both defensively and offensively.

Then-Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter valued him so highly in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft that he attempted to trade up from his ninth overall selection in the Draft, though to no avail. Nonetheless, he was able to select Dion with Calgary's first selection in the draft.

Dion established himself as the junior hockey team's top player following the draft, earning the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the top defenceman in the WHL. He was also named an Eastern Conference All-Star by the WHL, and a First Team All-Star by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

Dion was considered a candidate to join the Flames in 2004, but due to the 2004-05 NHL lockout, he was forced to play one final year of junior hockey.

He scored 56 points in 55 games to finish his junior career with 146 total points. He repeated as the WHL's Defenceman of the Year, and was again named to both WHL and CHL All-Star Teams.

Prospects Hockey rated Dion as the top player in the CHL in both 2004 and 2005, ahead of Sidney Crosby, naming him one of the best junior defencemen of the previous decade.

Calgary FlamesEdit

Dion joined the Flames for the 2005–06 NHL season after signing his first professional contract in September of 2005. He made his NHL debut on October 5, 2005, against the Minnesota Wild.

Five nights later, he scored his first career goal, assist and points against the Colorado Avalanche.

Dion was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November after leading all rookie defencemen with nine points and two game-winning goals. By January, he was being named alongside Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin as a candidate for the NHL's top rookie.

Dion finished the season with 20 goals, only the third player in NHL history after Brian Leetch and Barry Beck to score 20 as a rookie defenceman. His 20 goals also broke the Flames franchise record for goals by a rookie defenseman, surpassing Gary Suter's total of 18.

Dion was named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as top rookie, but lost out to Ovechkin.

A 50-point sophomore season earned Dion his first NHL All-Star Game appearance in 2006–07.

He participated in the hardest shot competition at the SuperSkills competition, losing to Zdeno Chára and scored a goal and an assist in the game itself to help the Western Conference defeat the East 12–9.

The Flames signed Dion to a six-year, US$39 million contract extension midway through the 2007–08 season. He responded by posting a career-high 60 points, and was voted into the starting lineup by the fans for the 2008 All-Star Game.

Dion was named to the NHL First All-Star Team following the season, and was a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as defenceman of the year, losing to the Detroit Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom.

The 2008–09 season was a frustrating one for Dion, as he recorded a career-low 11 goals and 47 points and his poor plus-minus rating of –11 led fans to question his defensive commitment. His poor season and high salary also led to speculation that he might be traded.

In spite of his struggles, he averaged 26 minutes and 31 seconds of ice time per game, the fourth highest in the League.

Dion missed the final game of the Flames' 2009 Stanley Cup playoff Western Quarter-final series against the Chicago Blackhawks with broken rib after battling a hip injury during the regular season. The Flames management defended him, claiming that the injuries he battled affected his play.

Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

On January 31, 2010, the Flames dealt Dion (along with Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie) to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White and Jamal Mayers.

On February 2, 2010, Dion made his Toronto Maple Leaf debut, leading all Maple Leafs players in time on ice and ended the night with a fight and given second star of the game honours.

He would record his first point, an assist, four nights later in a game against the Ottawa Senators and scored his first goal as a Leaf on April 7, 2010, on Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

Dion was named an alternate captain in Toronto nine games after being acquired after Mike Komisarek suffered from a season-ending injury. While he struggled offensively to begin his tenure in Toronto, he played 25 games in Toronto before scoring his first goal.

Then-Leafs Head Coach Ron Wilson credited him with creating a positive change in the mood in the Toronto dressing room.

Dion was named the 18th captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs on June 14, 2010, at a press conference held by General Manager Brian Burke, succeeding Mats Sundin, who left after the 2007–08 season.

On November 2, 2010, in a game against the Ottawa Senators, Dion sustained an injury in the leg by having it cut open with a skate from Peter Regin while crashing into the boards. He was carried off the ice immediately and had surgery done the same night.

Dion was said to be off the ice for four-to-six weeks, and made a return to the Leafs' lineup on December 9, 2010, a home ice game against the Philadelphia Flyers, which Philadelphia won 4–1, though he had one assist on the lone Toronto goal.

On January 5, 2012, it was announced that Dion would compete in his third All-Star Game, having finished second amongst all defencemen on the fan ballot, gaining 614,933 votes, behind the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson.

On April 21, 2013, Dion and the Leafs clinched a Stanley Cup playoff spot, the first time for Phaneuf since the 2008–09 season with the Calgary Flames.

On December 10, 2013, Dion received a two-game suspension on a boarding hit on Boston Bruins defenceman Kevan Miller which occurred on December 8, 2013, in Toronto. He forfeited the amount of US$66,666.66 for his action.

Ottawa SenatorsEdit

After parts of seven seasons with Toronto, Dion was dealt to the Ottawa Senators on February 9, 2016, in a blockbuster nine-player trade.

Both fans and media alike viewed the trade with shock, as a significant deal between the arch-rivals was viewed as very unlikely to happen.

Dion, Matt Frattin, prospects Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey were sent to the Senators in exchange for Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, prospect Tobias Lindberg and Ottawa's 2017 second round draft pick.

Due to the Battle of Ontario rivalry, this was the first time the Maple Leafs and Senators had made a trade since March 17, 1998 when Per Gustafsson was shipped to Ottawa in exchange for an 8th round pick.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2001–02 Red Deer Rebels WHL 67 5 12 17 170 21 0 2 2 14
2002–03 Red Deer Rebels WHL 71 16 14 30 185 23 7 7 14 34
2003–04 Red Deer Rebels WHL 62 19 24 43 126 19 2 9 11 30
2004–05 Red Deer Rebels WHL 55 24 32 56 73 7 1 4 5 12
2005–06 Calgary Flames NHL 82 20 29 49 93 7 1 0 1 7
2006–07 Calgary Flames NHL 79 17 33 50 98 6 1 0 1 7
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 82 17 43 60 182 7 3 4 7 4
2008–09 Calgary Flames NHL 80 11 36 47 100 5 0 3 3 4
2009–10 Calgary Flames NHL 55 10 12 22 49
2009–10 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 26 2 8 10 34
2010–11 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 66 8 22 30 88
2011–12 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 12 32 44 92
2012–13 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48 9 19 28 65 7 1 2 3 6
2013–14 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 8 23 31 144
2014–15 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 3 26 29 108
2015–16 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 51 3 21 24 67
WHL totals 255 64 82 146 554 70 10 22 32 90
NHL totals 801 120 304 424 1120 32 6 9 15 28

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2002 Canada Pacific WHC17 Template:Sica 6 3 5 8 8
2004 Canada WJC Template:Sica 6 2 2 4 29
2005 Canada WJC Template:Goca 6 1 5 6 14
2007 Canada WC Template:Goca 7 0 8 8 2
2011 Canada WC 5th 7 0 3 3 8
2012 Canada WC 5th 8 2 0 2 4
Junior totals 18 6 12 18 51
Senior totals 22 2 11 13 14

All-Star GamesEdit

Year Location   G A P
2007 Dallas 1 1 2
2008 Atlanta 1 0 1
2012 Ottawa 0 0 0
All-Star totals 2 1 3

International PlayEdit

Dion made his international debut for the Canadian junior team at the 2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Helsinki, earning a leadership role under Head Coach Mario Durocher.

A devastating bodycheck to the Czech Republic's Rostislav Olesz led the referee to eject him from the semi-final game; he was not suspended, however, and played in the gold medal game.

The Canadians lost the final to the United States while Dion was named a tournament All-Star at defence.

The Canadian team at the 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships dominated the tournament, outscoring their opposition 35–6 in the games leading up to the gold medal match-up with Russia.

Dion scored a goal and threw a memorable bodycheck that knocked down two Russian players in the championship game as Canada routed the Russians 6–1 to win their first gold medal in eight years. He was again named a tournament All-Star, as well as being named the outstanding defenceman of the tournament.

Following the Flames' elimination in the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs, Phaneuf joined the Canadian senior team at the 2007 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in Moscow. He recorded eight assists in seven games to help Canada win the gold medal over Finland.

Once considered a virtual lock to join team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Dion's struggles in the 2008–09 season placed his candidacy in doubt.

Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman continued to express confidence in Phaneuf during a summer camp held in Calgary, but Dion was not among the seven defencemen ultimately selected for the team.

After the Leafs missed the 2011 playoffs, Dion served as alternate captain of Team Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia where Canada finished fifth.

Dion was once again alternate captain of the Canadian team at the 2012 World Championship in Sochi, Russia. Canada repeated its fifth-place finish of the prior year.

In August of 2013, Dion attended the summer orientation camp for Team Canada in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but he was not named to the final Olympic roster.

AccoladesEdit

Award Year
Junior
WHL Eastern Conference All-Star Team 2003–04
2004–05
CHL First All-Star team 2003–04
Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy 2003–04
2004–05
National Hockey League
All-Rookie Team 2005-06 NHL All-Rookie Team
All-Star Game 2007, 2008, 2012
Elimination Shootout 2008 NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills Competition
First Team All-Star 2007–08
Calgary Flames team awards
Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award 2007–08
International
World Junior All-Star team 2004
2005
World Junior Directorate Award for Best Defenceman 2005

Playing StyleEdit

In junior hockey, Dion was known not only for his physical presence, but also his calm demeanour and offensive ability. He was compared to Hockey Hall of Famer Scott Stevens by his former coach, Brent Sutter.

Scouts praised his defensive ability, and the poise he showed at both ends of the ice. Praised for his leadership abilities, Phaneuf was named the captain of Team WHL at the 2004 ATD Canada-Russia Challenge, and was counted upon to take a leadership role with the Canadian junior team at the 2004 and 2005 World Junior Championships.

Entering his sophomore season, Dion's potential impact on a game was compared to that of Russian star Alexander Ovechkin and a poll released by ESPN in 2008 revealed that 43% of players asked argued Phaneuf was the hardest hitter in hockey, at the age of 22.

Dion was named an alternate captain by the Flames at the start of the 2008–09 season, though Brent Sutter chose to alternate amongst a group of veterans (including him) in 2009–10.

While he earned a James Norris Memorial Trophy nomination for his defensive play in 2008, Dion struggled enough during the 2008–09 season that some observers began to question his defensive commitment.

His teammates were quick to defend his play and noted that he was among the League leaders in average time on ice per game. His hitting game has also earned criticism at times.

The New York Islanders were especially upset at an open-ice charge Dion delivered to Kyle Okposo during a 2009 exhibition game that resulted in the latter suffering a concussion. He has also been criticized for occasionally refusing to fight opponents who challenge him after throwing a big hit.

For his part, Dion stated he does not believe that he should be forced to fight after every big hit, though he would do so when necessary. His coaches have praised his mentality.

Dion has also been accused of playing "dirty" and "stupid" by opponents who feel that he occasionally takes unnecessary liberties with opposing players.

A 2010 Sports Illustrated poll of 229 NHL players saw 21% of respondents name Dion as the most overrated player in the NHL, three times as many votes as any other player.

He dismissed the poll while several of his current and former teammates expressed their disagreement with the result.

Personal LifeEdit

Dion began dating Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert in May of 2008.

Their relationship became the centre of controversy in December of 2008 when then-Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery, who had dated Cuthbert in the past, commented on how other NHL players (such as Dion) as well as Los Angeles Kings' center Jarret Stoll, who was dating model Rachel Hunter (another ex-girlfriend) fell in love with his "sloppy seconds."

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman referred to the remarks as "disgusting" and subsequently suspended Avery six games; the Stars later cut ties with Avery.

In September of 2012, Dion and Elisha announced their engagement and they married on July 6, 2013, at St. James Catholic Church in Summerfield, Prince Edward Island.

Living in Toronto during the hockey season, the couple spends their summers at Dion's waterfront estate outside of New London, Prince Edward Island, in his parents' home province.

While with the Flames, Dion was the official ambassador to the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary and donated tickets to Flames games to help families at the facility.

The Flames named him the recipient of the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award in 2008 in recognition of his participation with the Children's Hospital.

He has appeared on the cover of the NHL 09 video game and played a role in NHL promotions and commercials.

Dion is a fourth cousin of Canadian figure skater Cynthia Phaneuf.

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