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On those Phaneuf trade rumors

May 12, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT

Dion Phaneuf AP

The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t fire their head coach after their disastrous finish to the 2013-14 season, but this past weekend did bring more “eager to talk”-type trade rumors.

First to report the availability of captain Dion Phaneuf was Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, who tweeted Saturday that the Leafs were “shopping” the 29-year-old defenseman to teams in the Western Conference, and that there was “lots of interest,” especially if Toronto were willing to eat some salary.

Today, TSN’s Darren Dreger added his two cents to the speculation:

This is far from the first time Phaneuf’s name has been heard in trade rumors as a member of the Leafs, but most of those came before he signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension in December. It’s not surprising, however, that Toronto’s designated leader, by way of the ‘C’s that he wears on his jersey, is in the middle of more rumors in the wake of the team’s latest precipitous collapse.

What are some possible trade destinations? Well, if the Leafs are only willing to send their captain to the Western Conference, the Oilers have said they could use a “big stud defenseman,” and the Stars have said something similar. Colorado’s another possible fit.

  1. pjblake2redwings - May 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Hes a bum

    • gnashty - May 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Well, unfortunately for the Leafs Holmgren isn’t the GM anymore. Luckily for the Flyers we won’t trade Vorachek for Phaneuf.

      • edzo82270 - May 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        That’s funny!

  2. ballistictrajectory - May 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    The AHL.

  3. govtminion - May 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    The answer is ‘Toronto’. Because unless they really sweeten the pot to give teams a reason to want him, I don’t see a lot of teams willing to give up the kings’ ransom that the Leafs will be asking for. Think about it- Edmonton says they want a ‘big stud defenseman’. Does Phaneuf really fit the bill at this point? He was a huge defensive liability against Boston last year in the playoffs, he doesn’t really add a whole lot defensively in general… maybe it’s the team he’s playing alongside that is holding him down, but it doesn’t look like the same guy that left Calgary these days, for sure.

    So, yeah… unless Toronto offers him for a modest price, I don’t see him going anywhere until his contract is up. He’s just not worth it to most other teams.

    • nobandwagoners - May 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Phaneuf may not offer too much in terms of defensive responsibility, but he could add a veteran presence on Edmonton’s defence, play big minutes and would be an upgrade on what Edmonton has there now. Beyond Andrew Ference who does Edmonton have back there that they can depend on day-in and day-out to be a solid presence and play on a top-6 pairing – Jeff Petry? Mark Fraser? Justin Schulz?

      I’m not saying that Phaneuf doesn’t have his limitations (including his high cap hit and long contract length) but he’d bring something positive to Edmonton’s defence. And I’d think that Edmonton is desperate enough is pull the trigger on something a bit goofy like that.

      • govtminion - May 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        I suppose they do have a few spare young forwards to trade… I don’t know that it really adds to the Oilers to get him, but I suppose they’ve done weirder things in Edmonton over the past few years, I’ll grant you that.

      • withseidelinn - May 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        Phaneuf was +19 before the epic late-season collapse. At the end of the year he was still +2. Everyone bashes on this guy and his defensive lapses, but I guarantee at $5-6m per year, the majority of GMs in this league would have very high interest in Phaneuf.

      • pepper2011 - May 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        I posted it as somewhat of a joke on another blog, but I could see him being dealt along with Kadri for Subban. Fill in the rest with picks/prospects.

        Deal sort of makes sense in a weird way. Gives MTL an actual (possible) #1 center in Kadri. They are wasting Pacioretty (not that I mind) with Deshanais centering him.

        Also Subban is a Toronto kid. Bruins can’t keep Malcom with Tuukka, so maybe PK signs a bit cheaper (7.5m instead of 8.5m) to play at home in Toronto with a wink and a nudge on the promise of doing their best to get Malcom too (JVR deadline deal, or Picks and a prospect given JVR has a very team friendly contract).

    • kaptaanamerica - May 12, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      The guy is worth like 2.5 mill a year and he’s getting paid 7mill cuz Nonis is an idiot. are the leafs gonna eat 4.5 mill to move the guy? He’s a 3rd pairing dman on a decent team.

    • pleasefiredan - May 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      We have the same problem with Scuderi here in Pittsburgh. Although his contract isn’t as bad so hopefully we can move him.

  4. billiam55 - May 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM


  5. dolanster - May 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM


  6. drewsylvania - May 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Could the Leafs be even stupider? If you wanted to trade him, try NOT SIGNING HIM TO AN UNTRADEABLE CONTRACT.

    This isn’t rocket science. This org is so incompetent they’re giving Jerry Jones & Jason Garrett competition for dumbest GM in sports.

    • nj666 - May 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      he was signed under nonis, they have shanahan as gm now so theres that….

      • jernster21 - May 12, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        Except Nonis is still the GM and Shanahan is the president, so there’s that.

  7. runhigh24 - May 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    There are legit criticisms of Phaneuf, but he plays the toughest minutes against the top competition. Who is going to do that if he leaves?

    • gnashty - May 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Flyers can trade Schenn for JVR back.

  8. stcrowe - May 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    I am sure that his wife would be happy if he got traded out to California. I just don’t see him ending up in L.A., with Darryl Sutter, his former GM in Calgary, being the coach out there.

    I have heard a story told by sports reporters on a couple of occasions on Toronto’s radio shows about a confrontation between Sutter and Phaneuf. This was back when Phaneuf was in Calgary. Back then, he was very surly and confrontational with reporters. At one point, Darryl Sutter (or it might have been Brent Sutter, who was head coach at the time) pulled Phaneuf aside during locker room interviews to tell him to lighten up. Phaneuf allegedly raised his voice, reminding Sutter that he had been a Norris Trophy finalist the previous year. In front of all of the reporters, Sutter allegedly said, “Dion, every guy in this room voted for Nik Lidstrom. You were a f***ing afterthought.”

  9. sabatimus - May 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Albatross, both in contract and on the ice. He might have been tradeable before, but another team would have be foolish to go for him now, unless somehow Toronto threw in some good extras.

  10. beergold - May 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Throw one way Phil in with him and get some character legitimate NHL “leaders” into Toronto. But then who wants to play in TO that is worth their NHL salt?

    I agree with a comment above that stated if they wanted to trade him why give him a gazillion dollars and long term – the Laffs are truly a running joke franchise from the ownership, through management down to ice level! Rich AND Pathetic…how is that possible when they show no interest in giving fans a quality on ice product worth their devotion.

  11. lbeezyse - May 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I could see the Wild being a player for Dion. They have a thing for bringing in captains. They also a very deep prospect pool which could entice the Leafs to eat some salary. Guys like Zucker, Phillips, and more could be had. Unfortunately the Leafs would a player like Granlund, Coyle, Haula, Nino, Brodin, or Spurgeon. Who in the eyes of Fletch are un touchable. Of course this would all hinge on Fletchers efforts in landing the big fish – Vanek via FA. Stay tuned.

  12. storminator16 - May 12, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Yeah, you are kind of stuck with that contract, Nonis.

  13. sweetzinger - May 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I don’t think there was ever any intention to trade him when they offered him that contract. Typical Leafs, overpay for an average defenseman. Just because he’s the #1 defenseman on your team, doesn’t mean he’s a #1 defenseman in the league. That’s why the Leafs are always one of the worst teams in the league. Their #1 players are Cup contenders #3 players.

    @runhigh24: he plays the toughest 30 minutes a game against all of the other teams……………….and they still finished 8th last. So, get rid of him, and you’ll finish in the bottom 5 and get a real franchise player. Unless Nonis is a complete idiot like Burke and trades the 2nd overall pick and 8th overall pick in back to back drafts for a fluffer like Kessel.

    Leafs are going to finish in the bottom 5 next year any way. There’s no way Bernier can play like he did last year. Without Bernier, this is the worst team in hockey. Worse than the Sabers.

  14. partsman193509 - May 13, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    He might be all right if you can keep him out of the penalty box, he just takes to many penalties and who wants that. He’s not getting paid to sit in the box.

  15. flash8910 - May 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    I hope the Ducks would take a chance on him. I still think he is a stud. He may not have as effective the last two seasons because of the team, not him.

    However for this work, the Leafs will have to take some things off the Ducks hands like Bryan Allen and Lucas Sbisa.

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