Will Phaneuf Captain Leafs?

Junior NelsonCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 7:  (L-R) Dion Phaneuf #3 and Jarome Iginla #12 of the Calgary Flames celebrate Phaneuf's goal at 28 seconds of the second period against the New Jersey Devils on December 7, 2005 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

. When Brian Burke said no one on the roster deserved to be Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs he damned them to mediocrity. How can the leaders of the team lead with this having been said? His ploy worked and the leaders did not lead. Others, knowing they didn't deserve to be Captain didn't take up the slack. The good ship Maple Leaf floundered. Is Dion Phaneuf good enough to be annointed Captain? Can he lead? He wasn't much loved by team mates in Calgary. He quarelled with coaches. He was short with the media. Perhaps yoking him with media responsability will force him into more considered replies. On the ice he bangs bodies with abandon, altering a game's trajectory with thunderous hits. Will he become the inspirational leader-by-example Burke envisions, is he truculent? Yes, as I understand the term, Phaneuf is just that. Perhaps the Eastern Conference is a better place for Phaneuf, where can become Toronto's Chara or Pronger. To carry that off he will need not just a ton of minutes, but also the right kind of minutes. The Coach must feel comfortable playing him in any situation. It is this confidence that bolsters a player's game, allowing him to reach his full potential and sometimes beyond. Giving the Leafs a Captain is more important than adding a defenceman. Let Phaneuf lead.