Alright, I brought up this topic in a random post on calgarypuck.com, but I feel it needs a little more attention than being buried behind Craig Button and his "Phaneuf-Torpedo" effort.
After last season, Dave Marcoux was having lunch with a good friend of mine when the topic of Phaneuf was brought up. Marcoux stated that Phaneuf had a serious hip injury since the beginning of the year, that could potentially require surgery.
Marcoux's relayed prognosis was that it would be a 50% chance that Phaneuf would be able to play HOCKEY again, let alone miss an extended amount of time.
Well, that seems very dire, considering hip surgery typically takes 12 weeks to recover from. Phaneuf apparently opted to play out the year and test healing through rehabilitation. It's pretty easy to rehabilitate a hip, but once surgery becomes the option a player is out for a LONG time. Perhaps this was french hyperbole, but if there were complications (i.e. Cuthbert has placed her tracking chip IN THAT hip, or he has an allergy to aenesthetic) perhaps it wasn't as simple as a labral tear and it was as Marcoux had pessmistically outlined.
Marcoux went on to say that the team had found another specialist that was more optimistic about the injury, and that Phaneuf's career didn't hang so loosely in the balance - but it brought up an interesting point, and something most Flames fans were wondering about all year.
Phaneuf had a brutal year last year, but refused to sit out any length of time. Keenen still chose to play him 30 minutes a night regardless of his state of health (which would also relate to Sutter's reasons to dismiss Keenan based on personnel decisions). When he was to sit down and take a break, Phaneuf jumped on a plane to Vancouver to join the team even though he had been left behind. He refused to cater to his hip.
Apparently he finished the season with a bad hip, 2 broken ribs, a bad shoulder and a concussion. He sat out the remaining games against Chicago because his head had been nearly dislodged from his body, and he likely couldn't remember that he was wearing skates.
So, even though the media and a large proportion of the fan base lambasted the Norris Candidate of 2008, lots of people were wondering if there was potentially something else bothering the future Geico spokesperson.
Was this a gross mismanagement of a Franchise asset?
Was this a coach that let his stars dictate their own schedule and playtime? Keenan did it with Kipper, why not Phaneuf?
The bottom line is, will Phaneuf return to form next season?
p.s. I also talked with an NHL defenseman about Phaneuf and the Olympics, and he said that Phaneuf aggravated Yzerman SO MUCH at the All-Star game in Montreal, that he's "talked his way off the team"....fancy that....