Report: Leafs have more suitors for Phaneuf

NHL general managers are in Florida this week for their annual March meetings to discuss all kinds of important things like 3-on-3 overtime and hockey in Vegas, but with that comes a good amount of media coverage and, of course, trade speculation.

At the beginning of the month, the Leafs and Wings were rumored to be involved on a potential deal including Dion Phaneuf, but couldn’t get it done prior to the trade deadline. It’s difficult to pull off a move that includes such a transfer of salary mid-season, and the reasons talks may have broken down were aplenty. Now it looks like more teams may be expressing interest in the Leafs’ captain, as we count down to draft day and what should be the beginning of a major roster restructuring.

From Damien Cox at Sportsnet:

There’s widespread belief the Leafs could have done a deal with Detroit involving Dion Phaneuf at the deadline, but backed off, thinking a better trade option might emerge over the coming months. At least two other teams have since approached Toronto about a Phaneuf trade.

Two mystery teams? Whoa.

We’ve had some major internal discussions of our own here at the site, and after a session of yelling and poring over graphs with “Corsi” and other stuff written on them, came to the conclusion that only a few destinations would make sense for Dion.

Destinations that would make sense and aren’t Detroit: Edmonton, San Jose

Other destinations some insider may have mentioned once: Anaheim, Los Angeles

Destination that would make us laugh until we throw up: Calgary

  • TGT23

    IMO
    the Leafs should focus on trading Lupul
    and Kessel
    These players seem to be doing everything in their power to diminish their own value.
    They need to be gone asap.

    Only trade Phaneuf if they receive a deal they can’t refuse.

  • STAN

    I’ve been pretty vocal about Phaneuf’s poor, deteriorating play pretty much since the day he arrived from Calgary.

    To my eyes he is already playing out the contract, much like Vernon Wells did after signing that guaranteed $126M with the Blue Jays. Wells just couldn’t muster much once it sunk in that no matter what he did or didn’t do, that cash was his.

    Ditto Dion.

    Question is, will some GM take a chance that he’ll even try?

    • TGT23

      Yes and no.

      No, I don’t think he just mailed it in. He had some years offensive that were actually fairly good.

      Which makes me think you are half-right.

      Because yes, what I do think is Vernon got his money and stopped working at part of his game. At the defensive side of the game. He went from GG CF to one of the worst in the game in ONE season.

      I wonder if maybe he fell in love with the attention he got for his 30+ HR’s and started to buy the hype and think he was being paid to just hit the ball.

      The problem with that was that he was a $100m defensive CF and a $26m offensive CF before the contract… And he was never going to earn the full contract with his bat.

      Between 2002-2005 (the years before his breakout season in 2006 when he got the contract): He averaged .275/.331 with about 25 HR’s per season in about 150 games and a 109 RC+…

      His 2008 season saw him hit .300/.343 with 20 HR’s in 108 games, 118 RC+. His 2010 he was .273/.331 with 31 HR in 157 games, 126 RC+…

      In retrospect, had Vernon stayed the elite defender he was pre-contract for the 4 years following he probably earns the contract. Or makes it close. Bloody shame.

      Now, to be fair to Dion, I don’t think it’s the same. Don’t get me wrong (talking to what’s48 here), I’m not saying Dion has lived up to the contract or the Captaincy, I’m NOT saying he’s an elite player, I’m just saying I don’t think the Vernon comparison fully works.

      Dion hasn’t really fallen off a cliff. He didn’t go from elite to below average in one season like Vernon did. If you believe he hasn’t improved or has gotten worse defensively, fine, but it hasn’t been a quick, immediate plummet.

      And I don’t fully believe he has stopped trying or caring. I don’t think he cares about the rest of the season or whether or not he gets traded, but I don’t think he’s thinking “I’ve got my money, I’m going to coast now”, either.

      He’s likely not going to live up to the full deal but I don’t think it’ll end up the disaster Vernon’s was. I think a change of scenery could still save his career, whereas Vernon’s career just fizzled out with a whimper.

      But, to answer your question, of course SOME team will take him. Some very good teams are interested in him and hopefully he goes somewhere there is a real team around him. He has some big flaws in his game but on a better team with a good partner he can be a very effective player.

      I think at the end of the deal Dion won’t have earned it, but if he gets out of Toronto he’ll have a chance to turn it around. I hope he does, too.

  • TGT23

    What about the Islanders?

    They still have a ton of cap space left and could take on his contract at seasons end without us retaining anything. And if you don’t believe that read this article on NHLNumbers.com

    ( http://nhlnumbers.com/2015/3/14/eyes-on-the-dollar-new-york-islanders )

    It would work for the islanders perfectly who are really trying to take the next step today, not 3-4 years from now. plus if they get knocked out of the playoffs quickly (if they play pittsburgh or New York) they will feel the need to make their team better in a hurry and phaneuf would do that for them.

    I wonder if it could be a one-for-one trade where we could get griffin reinhart (who grew up with Morgan Reilly), or maybe even Ryan Strome if we threw something in with phaneuf (The islanders would have so many good young players still there + strome could play with his brother [if we draft him]).

    I might be crazy but the more I think about it the more it makes perfect sense for both teams…

    • TGT23

      The Islanders make no sense whatsover. Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk both just signed seven year deals. Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan are both signed through 2017-18. Those are their top four. The total cap hit for them this year is $15.8MM. It goes up next year. Where does Phaneuf fit into this situation? Whose place does he take? The Leafs would kill for four d-men at the top of their lineup at that price or whatever they get next year. (Please come back CapGeek.)

      Right now, the Islanders and Tampa are the future of the Eastern Conference. They are both very good right now. They will be better next year. Garth Snow has been brilliant. Even if they are one and out this year, they are positioned to make deep playoff runs for the next few years. How does Phaneuf make them a better team? He is at best a very good d-man. That is it. The top four on NYI are all very good or better.

        • TGT23

          In his case, yes (I thumbs up’d, but there will be others to thumbs down). His thumbs down will be unwarranted. He made good points.

          In your case it has more to do with the blind bias, long-winded ranting, and insulting everyone on the forum that is younger than 50 and believe stats and facts are important and useful.

          There is a difference.

          • TGT23

            Says the 60+ year old man who spends a large part of his life on a blog telling people younger than him they are dumb because they learned math or homers who can’t take the truth because they don’t focus solely on the negative narrative and have room in their brains to view players in more than one dimension.

            How much of your daily life is spent thinking about how much you truly hate people who can understand simple concepts and numbers? How you must hate people who are much younger than you simply because their comprehension and understanding of a sport and the facts and evidence available from it has evolved beyond yours…

            You must be so scared all the time. Scared that no one is listening to your ignorant ramblings. Scared that your incredibly outdated and simplistic views on things has made you a joke.

            You are someone to be pitied for his inability to grow or evolve. And I do pity you. I’m not mad. How could I be mad at the pathetic?

            So, I’m sorry old top. I’m sure this is a hard time for you. All the youngsters and math nerds taking over the game you love.

            Maybe you could take up lawn bowling or something?

      • Poluza

        Anehiem (stoner/wisnewski),
        Chicago (oduya/timmonen),
        St. Louis (jackman/michalek),
        NY RAngers (yandle/kline),
        LA (matinez/green),
        Nashville (ekholm/Ellis),

        All those team have teams have top 4 d on their 3rd pairing… And they’re pretty good teams, so if your telling me Calvin de Hann can’t play on a 3rd pairing then there is no point in even having this argument with you. That’s why getting Phaneuf makes sense for them.

        Leddy – Boychuck

        Phaneuf – Hampnic

        de Hann – Hickey

        Visnovsky

        That’s a d lineup that could really do damage in the playoffs, which would be the whole point of the trade.

        *mic drop*

    • Poluza

      As long as Garth Snow is the GM of the Isles, anything is possible. I personally doubt that they would be interested, but they have a ton of young talent that I’d love to see in Toronto.

      My guess is the Oilers. There aren’t many teams that have the cap space AND need a LD AND would be willing to take the whole contract.

      Plus Dion might waive his NTC to play in his home town?