Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf, Jarome Iginla Fail to Tango


Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf, Jarome Iginla Fail to Tango

I’m mixed when it comes to hockey fights.

On the one hand, I think they detract from the overall quality of the sport and are a relic from the era when Don Cherry was still relevant.

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With the closing of the 2022-2023 season, it marks the end of the Los Angeles Kings paying Dion Phaneuf
With the closing of the 2022-2023 season, it marks the end of the Los Angeles Kings paying Dion Phaneuf /

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  • I also don’t buy the argument that an entire game can turn on one fight. After all, a losing effort is still a losing effort at the end of the day.

    For every Colton Orr or Frazer McLaren in the lineup, we lose sight of the future: would you rather have these two meatheads on the ice or Brandon Kozun and Peter Holland? Who provides the biggest bang for the puck? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

    Having said all this, there are some fights that draw my attention and excitement – the fight between archrivals or former teammates.

    Who can forget the NHL’s equivalent of a celebrity boxing match when Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin blew soft kisses to each other?

    (I guarantee you someone broke a cuticle on that light skirmish.)

    Ultimately, the Crosby-Ovechkin fight card amounted to nothing beyond a few soft bumps and equally soft words, but it was still enough to peak our excitement. At the time (sorry, Ovechkin), these were the top two players in the world. We wanted them to hate each other – we wanted them to fight – and that’s sorta what we got from them.

    I wouldn’t call it a fight, but it might be the closest thing to a fight that “star” players can provide.

    Oct 14, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla (12) exchanges words with Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Turning to last night’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche, we got another taste of one of these “special” kinds of fights.

    It’s no secret that Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf and former teammate/life inspiration Jarome Iginla don’t like each other. We’ve seen them chirp at each other and trade bumps in the past. After playing together for five years with the Calgary Flames, there’s a lot of tension between these two players – tension that should be released.

    Phaneuf and Iginla made a valiant effort to release the tension last night. They followed all the standard rules: hits were delivered, words were exchanged and gloves were dropped. They were even at the verge of exchanging blows when the NHL’s crack squad of officials broke up the action and sent both players to the penalty box.

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    In my book, this ranks up there with the 2012-2013 lockout as one of the NHL’s worst decisions of all time.

    Let the boys fight. Let us see the action!

    Instead, we were left to settle for a few unintelligible words exchanged between penalty boxes, not blows. It was like watching Toronto Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons argue a call – you know he’s hot and bothered, you know something’s going to happen, but the ultimate payoff never arrives or occurs out of view in the clubhouse where the real action always seems to take place.

    Shame on you, NHL. This could’ve been something special. It could’ve been something legendary.

    Now we’re simply left to assume that the always smiling Iginla had one last laugh at the expense of our beloved captain.

    (There’s no way Phaneuf wins this fight).

    Follow me on Twitter for regular posts about sports (especially the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays), politics and other news topics: @williamefwilson