Dion Phaneuf’s legacy with maple leaves is still written
Morgan Rielly remembers when he was 19 years old when he joined the Maple Leafs for their first season in 2013.
The team’s first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, he didn’t know exactly what to expect when he made the jump into the show.
But there was Dion Phaneuf, who worked hard to make this rookie feel at home.
“He was a guy that I admired so much and I still do to this day,” Rielly said. “Just the way he carries himself and the way he handles his career, the way he treats people, the way he goes about his business is a way that I’ve always admired.”
Rielly is the only retainer from Phaneuf’s six seasons with the Maple Leafs. Mitch Marner of the organization was heading to his first camp with the team in Halifax in 2015. As he boarded the plane, the rookie appeared nervous, but saw the captain gesture for him to grab the seat next to him. edge.
“We talked about London (the city where Marner played hockey as a student),” says Marner. “Talking about watches, if I like watches if I like cars,” Marner said. “He’s been great with the little time I have with him, obviously I was a big fan of him growing up in Toronto and what he’s done on ice and off-ice is pretty spectacular as well.”
While many people remember Phaneuf as the leader of a team that chose not to greet fans after their win over Tampa Bay Lightning on November 20, 2014, one incident he truly regrets, is that his impact on his teammates. proudest of his 14-year career.
“When you hear people talk about you and say kind words about the experience they had or how comfortable they were, it means a lot,” says Phaneuf.
He learned from the pros who made him feel comfortable when he joined the NHL in 2005. He was a rookie at the time when Jarome Iginla called him to play some golf.
The GM and his first head coach, Darryl Sutter, gave him the tools to help him play 1048 NHL games.
“He taught me what it’s like to be a professional and consistent player, and what you need to do to stay in the league and play long-term,” said Phaneuf.
Phaneuf announced his retirement on Tuesday, but admitted that since he hasn’t played since the end of the 2018-19 season, he has been retired for a while. In January 2020, Phaneuf was seen around the Scotiabank Arena job with the shadow of Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. Currently living in Los Angeles, Phaneuf wants to return to the game in some capacity, but has yet to decide which path he will take.
But he has a lasting impression with the two core Maple Leafs, who play big roles for the club in Rielly and Marner. And how they continue to pass on what they learn is likely how the Phaneuf chapter in Toronto will end.
Return it forward.
Phaneuf said: “I feel it’s really important how your teammates remember you. “I hope I’m remembered as a guy who played hard, played hard, that would do anything for his teammates and play the game the right way.”
https://www.si.com/hockey/news/dion-phaneufs-legacy-with-maple-leafs-still-to-be-written Dion Phaneuf’s legacy with maple leaves is still written