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‘I think it’s a cop-out’ — Shanahan cool to idea of stripping Phaneuf’s C

May 14, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

If Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf isn’t traded this summer, don’t expect him to be stripped of his ‘C’ before next season.

“I don’t know if that’s a solution,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan told the Toronto Star. “I think it’s a cop-out, to a certain degree an easy way out.”

Instead, Shanahan wants “to help enhance the player and leader that Dion is,” while suggesting that perhaps Phaneuf needs to adopt a less-is-more attitude and not try to be “all things at once.”

In the wake of Toronto’s regular-season collapse, stripping Phaneuf of the captaincy is an idea that’s been floated in the mainstream media and debated by bloggers. It’s been done before by NHL teams, like when the Dallas Stars took the ‘C’ from Mike Modano and gave it to Brenden Morrow. It happened to Patrick Marleau in San Jose, too.

And for a team like Toronto, one that was accused of complacency by one of its now-former assistant coaches, there’s a “wake-up call”-type argument to be made by those who favor doing the same to Phaneuf.

Doesn’t sound like Shanahan is buying that argument though.

“I’ve heard too many times in my life, talking about leadership, this team can’t succeed with this leadership group,” he said. “Until they do.”

  1. mactruck27 - May 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Phaneuf’s enough. Stripping him of the C isn’t all of a sudden going to make them not one of the worst possession teams in the league.

    • drewsylvania - May 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      They either have a good captain or they don’t. To me, this means that Phaneuf’s their best option. Which kinda tells you all you need to know about the leadership on this team.

  2. pjblake2redwings - May 14, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    stripping the “C” is the biggest slap in the face and overall a bad look on both parties. It was stupid when Tampa Bay did it that Vinny for like 1-2 years and when Dallas did that the Modano it was the worst thing they could have done to the face of a franchise. Leaves a salty taste and you know the player resents the coaches/managment after

    • broadstreetsbaddest88 - May 14, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      Carolina took it from Brind’Amour to give it to staal which was messed up. Shoulda just let rod have it til he retired a year or two later. Slap in the face to a solid captain like brind’amour

  3. cliffatola - May 16, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Hey Phaneuf is a monster for fantasy stats, doesn’t do much for the Leafs faithful though. What little I saw of the Leafs this year because of geographic location, I saw him get pushed around in front of his own net quite a bit among other problems. Taking the C doesn’t fix that and who is your next best option ? Bolland for 53 games ?

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