Phaneuf willing to watch

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:10 PM ET


 Dion Phaneuf is content to be a fan -- for now.

 The Calgary Flames first-round draft pick, in town yesterday to pick up the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL's top defenceman, said he plans on attending Game 4 tonight at the Saddledome.

 But he's pretty sure he won't be suiting up with the big club until the fall.

 "I'm just enjoying some time off right now," said Phaneuf, whose Red Deer Rebels bowed out of the WHL playoffs this week in the Eastern Conference final.

 "It would be a dream come true (to play in the playoffs). You never know what can happen.

 "But they're doing great right now and I wish them all the best."

 Phaneuf said he's identified some areas to work on over the summer to give himself a better chance at cracking the Flames roster in September.

 "I have to be bigger, stronger and quicker. That's what I'll be concentrating on over the summer.

 "I want to come into camp with the mindset of making the team."

 Flames head coach Darryl Sutter crossed Phaneuf -- who has yet to sign an NHL deal -- off the list this week when discussing possible replacements for his injury-rattled blueline.

 But his future boss, who stopped by the awards banquet to talk with the Phaneuf, said he was proud of the youngster's development.

 "He's accomplished a lot team-wise and as an individual. He's in a great environment and that goes hand-in-hand with why he's done well," he said, paying a veiled compliment to Rebels boss and brother, Brent Sutter.


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