According to reports, the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in trading defenseman and team captain Dion Phaneuf. The Washington Capitals are a team that could be interested in trading for Dion Phaneuf since the Capitals want to improve their defense.
The Good About Dion Phaneuf
In nine NHL seasons, Dion Phaneuf has proven to be quite durable, playing in 680 games. He has also proven to be quite productive for a defenseman with 371 points (114 goals with 257 assists) in those 680 games. His captaincy suggests that he has good leadership skills. Phaneuf is known more for his offense, but his offensive zone start percentage is just 37.2%, which suggests that the Maple Leafs trust him as a responsible defender.
The Bad About Dion Phaneuf
While there is quite a bit to like about Dion Phaneuf, there are also some things to be concerned about. The biggest concern that I have about Dion Phaneuf is his contract. His new contract, which kicks in next season, is a seven year deal worth $49,000,000 and features a no movement clause and a modified no trade clause, which allows Phaneuf to submit a 12 team list that he can’t be traded to each season. That contract would not be favorable for the Capitals.
Dion Phaneuf tends to commit a lot of penalties. His PIM totals the past four seasons are 88 (in 66 games), 92 (in 82 games), 65 (in 48 games), and 144 (in 80 games). He doesn’t draw a ton either, as his penalty differential (penalties drawn minus penalties taken) has never been positive.
Dion Phaneuf’s possession stats do not impress me. His Corsi percentage this season was 40.8%. In other words, 59.2% of the shot attempts made while Phaneuf was on the ice were made by the other team. The Washington Capitals were consistently out shot this season, so obviously Phaneuf would not help to change that.
I like Dion Phaneuf, but he would be a horrible fit for the Washington Capitals. The Capitals are desperate for defensemen, but not desperate enough to warrant trading for Phaneuf.
As always, let me know what you think in the poll and in the comments!