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Aye, Aye, Captain

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Prior to January 31st, 2010, I had a much different opinion of Dion Phaneuf than I have now.  I thought he was a cocky, arrogant, overpaid bastard.  I was extremely glad to not see him named to the Olympic team, and wished I could stop hearing from Calgary fans (and Pierre MacGuire) about how great he is.  Then, Burke pulled off the trade, and I did an about face.  Why?  Well, initially I was angry.  I had received at text from TSN at 8am on a Sunday morning, which read: "Dion Phaneuf has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs."  That was it.  He was a Leaf, and I didn't know what we had given up.  I had a shot of fear that Schenn was included.  Then, when I logged on here and then saw Burke's presser and learned that we'd given up players that I didn't like along with Ian White, and received not only Phaneuf but also Aulie, my whole world changed.

Something happens to a player when they don the blue and white.  I still see Phaneuf as cocky and arrogant.  He's still overpaid.  But now, he is our cocky, arrogant bastard.  And I love that I can freely use those words to describe our new captain.  I feel like if someone made a 1967 joke to Dion, he'd grab one of his rocks and hit them over the head before making some statement about "Me love Leafs".  Sure, this could all go down the crapper and having a 25 year old defenseman who has regressed the past two years and was unwanted in his previous team's dressing room as your captain could be a bad idea.  It's hard to argue with those who have reservations on his selection based upon those facts.  But he's now my captain, and I will defend him just as strongly as I defended Mats Sundin when he was our captain.  I hope he deserves it.

Now on to the links.