Sticking to their rebuilding plans the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded their captain, Dion Phaneuf, to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player deal.
Along with Phaneuf the Leafs will send Ottawa, defenceman Cody Donaghey and forwards Casey Bailey, Matt Frattin and Ryan Rupert. In exchange, Ottawa sends forwards Colin Greening, Tobias Lindberg, Milan Michalek and a 2017 second-round draft pick.
Maple Leafs general manager, Lou Lamoriello, had nothing but praise for his departing defenceman, but he felt it was a trade that fit the long term goals of the franchise.
“He’s going to be missed there is not a question, but a transaction like this has to be made … (to) stay with the plan that is in place,” Lamoriello said.
Toronto Mayor, John Tory, was one of many who wished the former Leaf captain well.
Phaneuf played 423 games over parts of seven seasons with the Leafs, recording 196 points over that time.
Phaneuf seemed to thrive in the system of new head coach, Mike Babcock, who took him out of the pressure of the number one defenceman role. He recorded 21 points in 51 games with the Leafs this season.
“[Dion is] a real good person, [who] did it right everyday,” Babcock said. “The problem for us is Dion is ready now to win and we’re not ready to win.”
Toronto Mayor, John Tory, was one of many to wish Dion Phaneuf well.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) February 9, 2016
The Leafs and Senators will next meet Sat. March 5.