All hell is about to break loose in Toronto, as apparently Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is being shopped around by the team.
According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, the Leafs are dangling Phaneuf to Western Conference teams, and Kypreos dropped a big hint that the Sharks could be one of the teams interested.
Phaneuf, 29, recorded eight goals and 23 assists in 80 games last season. He has been captain of the Leafs in 2010, and just signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension during the season. Thus, the Leafs must really be having a change of heart. They signed coach Randy Carlyle to an extension after the season, but GM David Nonis has promised to make “major changes” after they failed to make the postseason.
There is no doubt that Phaneuf would help the Sharks. It appears that Dan Boyle won’t be returning to San Jose next season, meaning the Sharks will be without a veteran presence anchoring their blue line. Phaneuf has been in the league for 10 years, and developed into one of the best defensemen in the league in his early years with the Flames. A physical player, Phaneuf also logged double-digit goals in each of his five seasons with the Flames before being dealt to the Leafs in 2010.
But there are risks. There’s no saying what the Leafs will ask for in return, and Phaneuf’s lengthy contract means that any team that acquires him will be stuck with him for the next seven years.
Anyway, just a rumor. We’ll probably revisit this at some point over the summer, but Phaneuf is certainly an option for the Sharks to upgrade their roster.