Sounds like the Leafs were looking for a king’s ransom if they were going to part with Dion Phaneuf.
According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, a Phaneuf-to-Detroit deal could have fallen through based on Toronto’s high asking price; one that included Red Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha.
My understanding was that Phaneuf’s only team that he had on a list that was manageable to be moved was the Detroit Red Wings, and I think they could have had a deal done today. I really believe that Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis could have had a deal done today, with money in and money out, but here’s the problem – the price was too high. My understanding was the player that the Leafs wanted was Anthony Mantha, and that was not happening.
Last year, Mantha had a monster season, scoring 57 goals and 120 points in 57 games with the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL. This season, he has 10 goals and 21 points in 43 games with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins
What we don’t know is whether Mantha was the only piece hypothetically coming back, or if there were other parts included to ‘sweeten’ the deal.
I could imagine the Leafs offered up Phaneuf in exchange for an expensive contract like Stephen Weiss ($4.9M cap hit for three more years), Anthony Mantha and a first round pick. That was likely (and very quickly) shot down.
Detroit probably wanted to keep their prospect, and instead offered something along the lines of Weiss and a draft pick, but also asked the Leafs to retain salary to the tune of $2M per season for the remained of Phaneuf’s contract.
That is a large gap. Probably one that can’t be bridged over the span of a single trade deadline day.
So, we know that the Leafs were willing to take on a dollar figure hit in any Phaneuf deal, whether it be in the form of a bad contract or retained salary (or both), but they were also asking for at least one enormously valuable asset as well.
You have to imagine this kind of deal will be much easier to facilitate after the 2014-15 season ends.