Dion Phaneuf Announces Retirement

Published November 16, 2021 at 11:20

You can file this under things I thought had already happened especially since Dion Phaneuf hasn't played in an NHL game since April of 2019. But today Phaneuf made it official in an interview with the Toronto Sun.

Dion stated he was "proud of his career" and that "I'm proud to be the guy who dreamt about playing in the NHL when I was skating on the outdoor rink growing up in Edmonton. You look back at everything at a time like this. I owe a lot to Brent Sutter for teaching me in junior how to be a pro. I owe a lot to some of the unbelievable teammates I had, like Jarome Iginla."

Phaneuf was drafted 9th overall and had a good career playing for Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and LA. Phaneuf broke into the league was viewed as a devastating hitter with a great slapshot, but unfortunately for Dion as the game moved away from the clutching and grabbing of the early 2000s his foot speed often for him exposed.

During his time in Toronto Phaneuf was seen as a polarizing figure who fans felt was "signed for the cameras" while the Leafs were features on HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic. Phaneuf was also apart of the leadership group involved in the Maple Leafs Salutegate, which he addressed in his interview.

But as a Leafs fan I remember Dion as the captain who waive his no movement clause as he almost singlehandedly opened up the Leafs and management to embark on a full rebuild in Toronto. I also remember him absolutely destroying his own teammates JVR with his best hit as a Maple Leaf.

Some of Phaneu's former teammates and friends took to Twitter to celebrate his career.

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