The captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs had often been criticized for not fighting enough, yet it was a scrap that has sidelined him for weeks.
Dion Phaneuf, who returned to practice Tuesday in Nashville, told reporters he suffered his hand injury during this fight with Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek on Jan. 21:
The Michalek fight was Phaneuf’s second in as many games; he dropped the gloves with Carolina Hurricanes star Eric Staal two nights prior.
Phaneuf has two goals and 20 assists along with a minus-4 rating in 48 games this season. He has missed three games thus far and is on the injured reserve listed as week to week.
Though hopeful to return this weekend, Phaneuf will sit out Tuesday’s game against the Predators as he tries to regain strength and get a better feel for the puck.
Toronto is 12 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and hopes to snap its nine-game losing streak tonight.