For a lot of Toronto Maple Leafs' fans, the Dion Phaneuf trade didn't come soon enough. 

The last Leafs' captain was traded back in February of 2016 to the Ottawa Senators along with Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Cody Donaghey and Ryan Rupert in a salary dump which saw the Leafs acquire Jared Cowen, Milan Michalek, Colin Greening, Tobias Lindberg and a second round pick.

While Phaneuf and his contract might have left a bitter taste in Leafs' fans mouths, the veteran defenseman was a big help to two important youngsters. 

Head coach Mike Babcock spoke about how much of an important role Phaneuf played for Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner recently. 

"I think Dion was really good for Mo and (Jake Gardiner). He looked after them, protected them, was a real solid citizen himself. But now they’ve been around and know what it takes."

What do you think of Babcock's comments?

Source: Lance Hornby Twitter
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