Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dion Phaneuf: A Fit For The Washington Capitals?


According to reports, the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in trading defenseman and team captain Dion PhaneufThe 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.

The Verdict

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!

Would you trade for Dion Phaneuf?

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  • matthew

    a lot of the bad numbers such as corsi and other advanced stats don’t truly tell the story of phaneuf as a player hes frustrating to play against and would be an amazing addition to the top four of the blue line. look at carlyes system for the bad numbers and the young defense core that has been back there with him for the past few seasons. as for the cap hit McPhee did a great job of cleaning up the cap and with a simple subtraction of mike green would give the capitals close to 19 million in free space. a player like phaneuf would change the culture in Washington and for the price of a first and a player like mojo it would be well worth it, to not waste another year of ovies and backstroms prime. watch him as a flame with out the bad system it tells a different story

    • DashingDave314

      Phaneuf’s contract is the main reason why the Capitals probably wouldn’t want him. At a lower price, sure, I’d take Phaneuf. But 7 years at $7M a year with a NMC? Can’t see the Capitals doing that. If they were going to go all-in for a defenseman, I’d want it to be PK Subban.

      • matthew

        well yeah that’s obvious PK is a top 5 nhl defenseman but there is zero percent chance they let him walk. and look at the next couple of NHL free agent classes, this year may be the weakest with markov 35, and brooks orpik 33 both injury prone possibly the best players out there, the one player that id consider taking a chance on is Anton Stralman who is 27 and has never earned more than 2 mil per season, but you have to look at the next few defenseman classes and realize Ovie isn’t getting any younger, even if 3 years down the line the Phaneuf contract would be a burden, which it still wouldn’t be everyone comes off the cap in the next few years, and bringing in a player like that youd move green and waive Erskine and get his 1.8 million back on the cap this season as well, the only player who is going to need to be paid after next season is KUZYA and green and Erskine are gone by the end of next season, he will get his im going to guess 2 year 10 million dollar bridge deal. if you tell this fanbase that bringing in that contract can make us instant contenders again everyone would sign right up, remember that lack of cups in our trophy case. I just don’t think wasting another year of ovies prime will be good for him or the team, they need to bring in a gm that is willing to roll the dice this year and shake up this team and hopefully the right coach in Barry Trotz or Bylsma

        • DashingDave314

          I agree that the FA class is weak. I love Stralman though. Perfect line partner for Orlov, who would benefit greatly from being paired with a stay at home guy like Stralman.

          The Capitals do not need to be shaken up as far as their roster. They’re a top 4 defenseman and a non-idiot coach away from contending again. I’d rather the Capitals trade for one than sign one because, as you said, the FA class is relatively weak, but I think Phaneuf would not be a good target. He’s not responsible in the defensive zone and is often out of position. Goes for the big hit way too much. Who knows, maybe being on a Trotz-coached team would change that. But that’s a gamble that is too risky for the Capitals.

          • matthew

            A message needs to be sent and a player like Green needs to get the boot, they made the mistake of letting Semin go a few years back now they need to make the right call and move one of the most frustrating players to ever lace up skates. The Phaneuf thing again its more Caryles system than him, as a Flame he could stay at home, I would kick the tires on Stralman, or possibly a Matt Greene if he is cheap enough. There is not to to much out on the trade market right now top 4 D-men wise and will have to prepare for Bowey to be there in 2-3 years.

          • Hockeydude99

            True it is time for Green to go; add Laich and a few others. This team is a few players short of playing consistently. I didnt mind seeing Semin go and yet somehow we kept Johansson, who is a similar player but cant score. They both take a lot of silly penalties and play average at best D. Like the new Gm said he is giving ovie 1 year to show he can learn to play D and to backcheck or he will trade him. I say trade him NOW at this draft and package him with a few other players and our #1 to Fla for their #1 and 2 this year and a #1 next year and a D-man or 2 as they ahve plaenty. Also Fla would be able to handle his cap space even if you could get them to also take Green and Johansson. Also I think Ovie would like Fla as he could go to the beach a lto and party.