Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf suspension hearing scheduled for tomorrow

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs.

Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The league’s decider of suspensions, Brendan Shanahan, will be very busy over the next few days, as he determines penalty length for a number of incidents, all of which occurred in Boston Bruins’ games last weekend.

Last night the Bruins skated at the Air Canada Centre in a rare Sunday night showdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game was sloppy, uneventful in many ways, and came to an end when Patrice Bergeron tapped in an empty netter with less than five seconds ticking on the final clock. However, despite being a snooze fest for long stretches, last night’s matchup did not escape its fair bit of controversy. With the home team’s net empty – the boys in blue pushing for two goals to tie the game – Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf landed a hit-from-behind on Bruins defenceman Kevan MIller. Miller left the game; Phaneuf was not penalized.

The league will take action against Phaneuf, regardless of the missed call on the ice. Toronto’s number 3 is subject to a phone hearing with the NHL tomorrow.

Phone hearings carry certain limitations regarding length of suspension. Because Dion will not meet with the league’s chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in person, his suspension can be no longer than 5 games in duration.

For the Leafs management – who must decide on a new contract for their captain – a suspension could be a blessing in disguise. A few games without Dion Phaneuf may provide insight into the Leafs overall team game without the captain. Before throwing big dollars at Dion, may as well see how important he is to the club, and what better way to determine his significance than to experience life without him for a few games against the best teams in the NHL.

On the docket, the Leafs prepare for the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and Chicago Blackhawks over the course of this week, climaxing Saturday against the defending Stanley Cup champions.