Why do NHL peers keep bashing Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf?

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf is constantly voted the most overrated player in the...

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf is constantly voted the most overrated player in the NHL. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 PM ET

TORONTO - Yet again, Dion Phaneuf is not getting any love from his peers.

In an ESPN poll published this week, the Leafs defenceman was voted the most overrated player in the NHL by his fellow players.

Last year, in a poll of NHL players conducted by Sports Illustrated, Phaneuf was voted the most overrated. The same thing the year before.

So whatís going on? Why is Phaneuf constantly getting dissed around the NHL? Is it his on-ice demeanour? His pay grade? The fact that heís the captain of the storied Toronto Maple Leafs? Is it because heís married to a Hollywood actress? Or is he sneaking into guysí kitchens in the morning and doing unspeakable things to their cornflakes? It has to be something.

Phaneuf has said in the past that he doesnít care about polls (and, frankly, many of the sample sizes are ridiculously small), and thatís fine. But all this Dion bashing is getting a bit ridiculous. After all, what exactly does overrated mean?

To be overrated, donít you have to be on some kind of pedestal to start with? Donít you have to be considered some kind of superstar to be considered overrated? Not a lot of fourth-line guys are deemed to be overrated. In Phaneufís case, I havenít heard too many writers or fans in this market put him on a pedestal. Generally, itís the opposite.


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