So Olli thinks the fans of this city ran Phaneuf out. (The Story.)
What are the implications of this statement? In my mind, there is only one. Dion asked for a trade.
How I came to that conclusion is pretty simple. Do you, dear reader, think that GM Sutter listens to Overtime? If not, then who are these legions of fans that are calling GM Sutter up and complaining about Phaneuf? I don’t think there are any, myself. Now, GM Sutter may have friends in this city who he respects and trusts, and who have told him that they personally didn’t like Phaneuf, but again, do you think GM Sutter would trade Phaneuf because his drinking buddies didn’t like his smirk? I don’t.
Now, I haven’t trumpeted this before, but I do know people who know the owners of this team. Know the owners as in watch the games at the 'Dome in their box. These people have told me, although in full disclosure I have not talked to them since the trade went down, that the owners of the team had no problem with Phaneuf. As in, the owners were not pushing GM Sutter to do this deal because of any Jay Cutler-esque personality clashes.
So if we accept that GM Sutter isn’t making his hockey decisions based on the idiots on Overtime, and the owners didn’t force him to trade Phaneuf, what else could it have been?
A) Phaneuf just isn’t good enough to justify the contract, and because of the cap world, that misallocation of resources was killing the team.
B) Phaneuf asked for a trade.
Answer A is a bit tricky, because Phaneuf isn’t the only player we are paying too much on this team (Sarich, come on down!). Because he isn’t the only player we are paying too much, if GM Sutter really wanted to keep him, then he could have traded other assets. Could have. Maybe he tried and nobody wanted his other mistakes.
So option B. And not just option B, but option B in light of Olli Jokinens recent comments. The fans never accepted Dion implies to me that Dion felt that the fans didn’t accept him. Personally, I think that type of comment shows the mental weakness of Phaneuf more than anything.
You all saw that clip of him at the piano bar (no free ads, so no name). The people in that bar (which is in Calgary) didn’t seem to be too hostile to the young man. Those people didn’t seem to hate him. If Phaneuf could go out and party and not return home with a black eye, I don’t think the fans hated him. The fans who pay Phaneufs salary, the season ticket holders, may not have liked him, and let him know with the boos, but if getting booed at the 'Dome because you aignt working pisses you off, then your a baby dick diva.
Sticking on option B, a lot of you will say 'He cried when he was traded, he didn’t ask for one!', which to me, is really stupid. People can fake it, ask your wife. I can easily see a scenario in which Phaneuf asked for a trade, was told by GM Sutter that they would do it in the offseason, and then when it came outta the blue, Dion got emotional. He is just a kid, which some people forget. Kids cry.
Now there is a third option. That Dion was a locker room cancer. I don’t like to take on my fellow Flames blogs, because most of them have been very accepting of Domebeers. But I do want to take on SmellofVictorys take on Phaneuf. Smell (we on first names now baby!) says that this article puts to rest this notion of Dion as locker room cancer. With all due respect, Smell didn’t read the article. If he had, then he would have noticed that there is a little story about Dion and Jarome getting into a fight. Maybe Smell chooses not to believe it. I think that is a little naive. Now, in Smells defence, this 'rumour' comes from the bloggers at Calgarypuck. But it is out there.
Did Jarome (and according to other rumours Reggie hated the guy too) get this guy traded? I don’t think you can discount it. I wouldn’t treat it as gospel, but Id be aware of it as a possibility.
So where does Domebeers come out? Well, Domebeers doesn’t believe GM Sutter runs this team based on the Suns 'You Decide' fill out sheet. Domebeers is more inclined to believe that Dion was moved because he was shitty in the locker room, and because of the atmosphere in the locker room, had asked for a trade. Plus he was overpaid by about 2.5 million dollars, which doesn’t help his case to stay.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.