As it turns out, Elisha Cuthbert’s prognosis was way off for her boyfriend Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf left last night’s game against the Ottawa Senators with what turned out to be a deep cut in his leg. Phaneuf was taken to the hospital and stitched back up but apparently the damage ran a little bit deeper than it would seem. Leafs GM Brian Burke said today that Phaneuf will be out at least four weeks thanks to the cut as NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reports. The Maple Leafs official statement says Phaneuf will miss four to six weeks of action.
“You can’t replace Dion and what he brings to the team, but other people will have to step up in a leadership role and be vocal,” Wilson told reporters following the Leafs’ 3-2 loss to the Senators. “We’ve got a deep defense. Some guys will get some more minutes. We should be able to weather the storm.”
Asking Brett Lebda to step in and fill those shoes might be asking a lot. As far as keeping the Leafs defensive depth in tact, the team has called up German defenseman Korbinian Holzer from the AHL where he’ll be holding down a spot in the press box just in case someone else gets hurt.
While fans criticized Brian Burke for signing a guy like Lebda while they had glaring weaknesses at forward, the added depth is proving to be helpful so far for Toronto as digging deeper into their AHL system would be doing them no favors at all. While Lebda isn’t an optimal starting defenseman, using him in a pinch, even a four week long pinch, is better than having a potentially unprepared AHL defenseman playing there instead.