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Post-Phaneuf era begins for Maple Leafs

Babcock, Toronto say trade of captain to Senators won't be distraction against Flames

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (19-23-9) at FLAMES (23-25-3)


CALGARY -- The Toronto Maple Leafs aren't going to let the trade of captain Dion Phaneuf serve as a distraction when they open a four-game road trip Tuesday against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"I don't think like that," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We've got a game tonight against Calgary we plan on winning."

The Maple Leafs traded Phaneuf, forwards Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey and Ryan Rupert, and defenseman Cody Donaghey for defenseman Jared Cowen and forwards Milan Michalek, Colin Greening and Tobias Lindberg, along with Ottawa's second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft early Tuesday morning.

The trade came as a surprise to teammates.

"It's really tough anytime you see a teammate go," Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner said. "I think this is even a more odd circumstance. [Phaenuf is] one of my really good friends on the team and obviously our leader. It's going to be tough that way. Other guys are going to have to step up. It's tough to see him go.

"It's a big shocker this morning and a huge loss for our team but we also have a game tonight. We have to get ready for that and take it one game at a time."

Gardiner doesn't expect the trade of Phaneuf to distract from the game against the Flames.

"We'll talk about it this morning at lunch and then when it comes to game time, we have to be ready," he said. "I think everyone's pretty professional in this locker room and knows there's still a job to be done. It won't distract us."

None of the players acquired by Toronto are expected to be in the lineup when they face the Flames.

"We have a game tonight we plan on winning and we'll work that all out," Babcock said. "When they show up they show up, and we'll go from there."

The Maple Leafs already are without veteran forwards Tyler Bozak, Joffrey Lupul and Shawn Matthias. Bozak wasn't feeling well, Lupul has a middle-body injury and Matthias was in pain from a whiplash injury. Right wing Mark Arcobello and left wings Josh Leivo and Rich Clune were recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

Calgary, looking to build on a 4-1 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, is hoping to take advantage.

"I think we have to worry about ourselves," said Flames forward Matt Stajan, the only active player for Calgary in the seven-player trade that sent Phaneuf from the Flames to the Maple Leafs on Jan. 31, 2010.

"Every team reacts differently to change. It's not like five guys are coming out of their lineup, I think there was only a couple [of players] that are set to play. They lost their captain. It's going to have an impact. We have to play like we did Saturday, that's the focus. We'll see what they throw at us but it's always a test playing these guys because they've got a lot of fans out West here. It will be a good atmosphere tonight."

Here are the projected lineups:


Michael Grabner - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Daniel Winnik - Nick Spaling - Josh Leivo
Peter Holland - Mark Arcobello - Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
Rich Clune - Byron Froese - Brad Boyes
Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner - Roman Polak
Martin Marincin - Frank Corrado
James Reimer
Jonathan Bernier

Injured: James van Riemsdyk (foot), Stephane Robidas (lower body), Tyler Bozak (upper body), Joffrey Lupul (middle body), Shawn Matthias (whiplash), Milan Michalek (broken finger)

Scratched: Jared Cowen


Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler
Sam Bennett - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Micheal Ferland - Josh Jooris - David Jones
Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - Brandon Bollig
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Kris Russell - Dougie Hamilton
Ladislav Smid - Deryk Engelland
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo


Scratched: Joe Colborne, Markus Granlund, Jakub Nakladal

Status report: None of the players acquired from the Senators are expected to arrive in Calgary, which means Leivo, Clune and Arcobello are expected to play. … Hiller and Backlund did not participate in Calgary's optional morning skate but will play.

Who's hot: Parenteau has two goals and an assist during a three-game point-streak. … Monahan has two goals and four assists in his past three games. Hudler has four points as part of a three-game point-streak.

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