Given the number he was wearing, it seems Dion Phaneuf carries a lot of influence in the Maple Leafs dressing room, even on his first day with the blue-and-white.
When Phaneuf stepped onto the ice at the Mastercard Centre for his inaugural practice as a Leaf this morning, he was wearing his familiar No. 3 -- the number that previously had been worn by defenceman Garnet Exelby.
Obviously Phaneuf and Exelby had cut a deal, leaving Exelby wearing Ian White's former No. 7.
With dozens of fans looking on, their faces pressed against the window, newcomers Phaneuf, J-S Giguere and Fredrik Sjostrom took to the ice at about 10:47 a.m. Sjostrom was wearing No. 11 while Giguere is slated to be No. 35.
Phaneuf spent practice lined up on the blue line with Francois Beauchemin, perhaps a preview of a future partnership for Tuesday night's game against the New Jersey Devils. Other defence pairing included Tomas Kaberle-Carl Gunnarson, and Luke Schenn-Garnet Exelby.
Mike Komisarek, who hadn't been medically cleared to play over the weekend due to a shoulder ailment, served as the seventh defenceman.
Up front, the lines were: Alexei Ponikarovsky-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel; Nikolai Kulemin-Rickard Wallin-Fredrik Sjostrom; Jay Rosehill-Keith Primeau-Colton Orr; and Jeff Finger-John Mitchell-Lee Stempniak.
Finger, a defenceman, was playing up front in place of a soon-to-be-called-up Marlie, likely Christian Hanson.