Soldiers switch sides in battle of Ontario

Leafs trade captain Dion Phaneuf to inter-province rival Ottawa in nine-player deal

Sticking to their rebuilding plans the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded their captain, Dion Phaneuf, to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player deal.

Three Toronto sports trades that triggered franchise rebuilds

The Leafs trade of Dion Phaneuf was major part of the ongoing Maple Leafs rebuilding efforts. The current Leafs rebuild is hardly the first in Toronto sports history. The three trades below are some of the most notable.

Vince Carter:
Carter was traded from the Raptors to the New Jersey Nets in 2004 in exchange for Alonzo Morning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round picks. The deal triggered the Raptors rebuild around budding star, Chris Bosh.

Roy Halladay:
The Blue Jays traded Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. In exchange the Jays received a group of minor league pplayers highlighted by Travis D’Arnaud and Kyle Drabek. The 2003 American League Cy Young award winner was the face of the franchise until the trade.

Phil Kessel:
Kessel joined the Maple Leafs via trade from Boston, during the Brian Burke era. The team decided to compete long term the Leafs would have to trade their best goal scorer. Kessel went to Pittsburg In exchange for a package including prospect Kasperi Kapanen and a pair of conditional draft picks. The trade ended an era and started a team rebuild.

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.

The Leafs and Senators will next meet Sat. March 5.