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Abel to Yzerman

Do You Want Phaneuf?

As George Malik pointed out this morning, the names of Jason Spezza and Dion Phaneuf have popped up in the trade rumor talk.

Let's forget about Spezza and concentrate on Phaneuf.

Even though the reports state the Leafs would like to move him out of conference, would you have an interest in Phaneuf wearing the winged-wheel?

If so, what do you give up?

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Both Phaneuf and Spezza are on deals worth $49 million US over seven years. The difference: While 2014-15 is the final season of Spezza’s contract, it is the first year for Phaneuf, whose extension was announced while the Leafs were in Michigan prepping for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic at the Big House against the Red Wings....

In terms of Phaneuf, any intrigued teams would be saddled with a long-term contract that runs into the next decade.

Having said that, it should not come as a surprise that the Leafs would be kicking tires around the league to gauge potential interest in the veteran defenceman. Indeed, MLSE president Tim Leiweke, who last month brought in Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan to serve as team president, is not a patient man.

“No one is untradeable,” Leiweke said during a recent radio interview, adding that Shanahan and GM Dave Nonis have the final say on roster decisions.

Having fielded calls on Phaneuf during the season, the Leafs feel there is a market for the captain, making the possibiliy of a deal far moe realistic.

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Comments

Chip4Pips's avatar

Not interested. He would be a perfect fit for the Ducks and their douche bag collection.

Posted by Chip4Pips on 05/12/14 at 09:14 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

bag of chips. Veteran who still makes stupid mental errors.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/12/14 at 09:14 AM ET

Avatar

If he were on Spezza’s contract I’d be curious enough to see what he would do when not saddled with a ‘C’ that he wouldn’t have, but on the first year of seven?  Yikes, no thanks.

Posted by Garth on 05/12/14 at 09:18 AM ET

Avatar

Nope.  Expensive and a lefty.

Posted by captaineclectic on 05/12/14 at 09:43 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If we’re talking seriously, I think you have to start with good Mimico boy Brendan Smith, a goaltending prospect, and a first-rounder.

Then you probably have to add additional value to that’s probably close to the Mitch Callahan/Landon Ferraro (except actually signed) range.

And if the goaltending prospect isn’t Mrazek, you have to fill that gap too.

It’s way more than the Blues paid for Jay Bouwmeester because it’s Toronto and because Phaneuf wears the C.

Phaneuf is a good defenseman and he’s definitely a top-pairing guy. The potential for his cap hit to be a good value is fairly high. His mistakes can be attributed to playing in a counterattacking defensive shell system like Randy Carlyle’s. Phaneuf makes a lot of mistakes simply because the Leafs play a system which creates more chances for defensive mistakes than are reasonable.

Outside of a bad system, I believe Phaneuf could be an excellent addition to Detroit’s top pair. His contract and his skillset are not concerns to me at all.  Discussions about his attitude are a slight concern.

The biggest concern for me is the risk of the asking price.  I’d like the Wings to get Phaneuf, but I’m not sure if I’m interested in taking such a large risk about being wrong that the system is the problem

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/12/14 at 09:44 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Spezza, yes, Dion, no.

He and Nash are the two most over-rated players in the NHL today

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/12/14 at 09:53 AM ET

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Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/12/14 at 10:53 AM ET

Seems like everyone who talks about Phaneuf calls him overrated, to the point that it kind of makes me wonder who, outside of the Toronto organization, actually rates him highly.

Posted by Garth on 05/12/14 at 09:57 AM ET

Avatar

People still talk about trades as though they are happening in a league without a cap.

Phaneuf’s contract kills his value.  Absolutely destroys it.  Stuff like this:

  “If we’re talking seriously, I think you have to start with good Mimico boy Brendan Smith, a goaltending prospect, and a first-rounder.

Then you probably have to add additional value to that’s probably close to the Mitch Callahan/Landon Ferraro (except actually signed) range.

... doesn’t function in the real world.  Granted, that may be spoken from the perspective of what the Leafs would ask for, but that’s also coming from the same idiot franchise that gave him the huge, stupid deal that killed his value in the first place.

Phaneuf’s actual market value is much closer to room temperature.  Bouwmeester was/is a) better, b) signed to a better deal and only pulled a 1 and a couple prospects.  Phaneuf’s deal in tandem with his play drastically reduced what he’s worth via trade.

If Toronto had a clue, if someone offered them a 2 and a mid range prospect they should take that offer and do cartwheels of joy they got out from under that moronic contract.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/12/14 at 10:02 AM ET

Paul's avatar

You would have to think the Leafs will have to eat some salary too, if they do decide to move him.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/12/14 at 10:04 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

If the KK blog commenters managed the Wings, I think the answer is clear. Fortunately, Holland is a sentimental sap who wouldn’t trade his favorite/lucky anything for anything, so we’re not in risk of absorbing a player who is 80% ego to 20% skill. That’s not to say Dion is not a very skilled player - he is. It’s just his ego is that much more inflated.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/12/14 at 10:13 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

... doesn’t function in the real world.  Granted, that may be spoken from the perspective of what the Leafs would ask for, but that’s also coming from the same idiot franchise that gave him the huge, stupid deal that killed his value in the first place.

Pretty much, and paying a premium for the sake of the Leafs’ front office’s pride is something a smart GM shouldn’t do.

People still talk about trades as though they are happening in a league without a cap.

This is a weird intro though. It’s either a wholly unimportant non-sequitur or it’s completely missed the mark.

What part of the salary cap world doesn’t a deal like that fit into?  It’s the wings spending their cap space and the Leafs recovering some from themselves.  These are things that both teams will likely be looking to do.

IF Phaneuf is a top-pairing defenseman (which seems to be the point of contention), then a $7M cap hit fits pretty well. 

Jay Bouwmeester looks very good in comparison because while he’s a top-pairing guy, he’s not the #1D on that team. Jay Bouwmeester is a well-paid companion piece to Alex Pietrangelo.

Bouwmeester/Pietrangelo combined cost $11.9M in cap space.  Phaneuf and Kronwall as the top pair would take up $11.75.

Combined, the Blues’ top pair put up 88 points. Phaneuf/Kronwall combined for 80. This is with both of those guys being on teams that didn’t score as much and with partners who weren’t as good as each member of the Blues’ top pairing got.

Therein lies the gamble: If you believe the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, it might be worth it to take this shot (although like I implied previously, this is probably an exercise in futility because I believe the Leafs are going to ask for a return package that’s too large for the risk involved).

However, throwing out a 2nd rounder and a mid-level prospect as something which should be considered a huge victory for the Leafs isn’t accurate. Even cutting through all the feelings bullshit, that’s not a realistic trade proposal. I’d even say it seems to forget that it’s happening in a league with a cap.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/12/14 at 10:47 AM ET

awould's avatar

If the price is as high as JJ thinks, then no. If it were lower, then maybe. Phaneuf is talented and a top-pair D. My big concern, besides the cost of the trade, is the length of the contract and his attitude.

The real question is, if he does play for Detroit, would Sean Avery accuse him of taking his sloppy seconds?

Posted by awould on 05/12/14 at 12:07 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Seems like everyone who talks about Phaneuf calls him overrated, to the point that it kind of makes me wonder who, outside of the Toronto organization, actually rates him highly.

Posted by Garth on 05/12/14 at 10:57 AM ET

At one time he was rated high by many people, which time has shown to be a mistake

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/12/14 at 01:47 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

He’s a very talented defenseman who can play very well. He’s not the role he fills, which is why he’s in this conundrum. He would be a great #2 defenseman if he had the attitude to match.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/12/14 at 02:22 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Hell yeah I’ll take Phaneuf ... we can send them Franzen and Ericsson.

I agree with JJ when he said get Phaneuf in the right system and he’ll be fine.  He blocks shots ... scores goals on the PP ... and does something neither Franzen or Ericsson are willing to do ... throw a body check with bad intentions.

Salary-wise we get a $950K discount so thats not an issue.

Toronto gets a potential 25 goal scorer in Franzen and a defencive defencman that blocks shots in Ericsson.

The only downside to the trade is Phaneufs propensity to take bad penalties ... but that issue may solve itself if he likes the system he’s playing in.

Kronner & Phaneuf paired together ??  Boston would be drooling ... LOL

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/12/14 at 02:32 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Phaneuf’s wife is hot. Sorry, thats all I got to add to this one<shrug>.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 05/12/14 at 05:19 PM ET

Avatar

Pretty much, and paying a premium for the sake of the Leafs’ front office’s pride is something a smart GM shouldn’t do.

Then you aren’t talking about value, you’re talking about price, and price through the prism of a poorly-run team to boot.

What part of the salary cap world doesn’t a deal like that fit into?

The part that divests contract from competence.  Were Phaneuf signed to a 4-5 mil a year deal over 3 or 4 years he’d be worth way more as an asset than he is signed to a 7 year 49 million dollar deal.  His contract mitigates his performance.

IF Phaneuf is a top-pairing defenseman (which seems to be the point of contention), then a $7M cap hit fits pretty well.

No, not really.  Kronwall’s a top pairing dman… should he be making 7 mil a year long term?  Lots of guys around the league are top pairing defensemen I wouldn’t pay 5 mil, much less 7.  Hell, Ericsson’s a top pairing defenseman and I hardly think anyone is agitating to pay him 7.

Phaneuf’s contract gives him the 8th highest cap hit at the position in the whole NHL.  That’s not ‘top pairing’ money, that’s ‘franchise lead dman’ money.

Jay Bouwmeester looks very good in comparison because while he’s a top-pairing guy, he’s not the #1D on that team. Jay Bouwmeester is a well-paid companion piece to Alex Pietrangelo.

That plays a part, of course.  I don’t think Bouwmeester’s a #1 dman either.  I think he’s a better overall player than Phaneuf, though.  Phaneuf has more offense, but Bouwmeester’s better defensively and is infinitely better at not being penalized (.57 PIM per game vs 1.39 for Phaneuf).  Phaneuf would have to be Erik Karlsson to make me want to swallow 30 more PKs a year to balance that out.

However, throwing out a 2nd rounder and a mid-level prospect as something which should be considered a huge victory for the Leafs isn’t accurate. Even cutting through all the feelings bullshit, that’s not a realistic trade proposal.

Through the prism of a team run so poorly as to lock him up to that ridiculous contract in the first place?  Sure.  Through the prism of common sense and rational thought?  It’d be a huge win.

If the issue is what Toronto thinks… my God.  That way lies madness.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/12/14 at 06:14 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Lots of guys around the league are top pairing defensemen I wouldn’t pay 5 mil, much less 7

It’s a world of rapidly growing cap hits. Pay now, pay later, whichever. Wings are in a position to get that value like the Pietrangelo/Bouwmeester pairing.

Phaneuf has more offense, but Bouwmeester’s better defensively and is infinitely better at not being penalized

Problem here is that it’s really hard to figure how much of that is Phaneuf’s meatheadedness versus Bouwmeester’s Boy Scoutedness and how much of that is Bouwmeester playing better zone starts on a team that faced 600 fewer fenwick events over the course of a season.

Obviously, Phaneuf is going to take more penalties in the same usage. There’s just about no way that deployment and possession earns Phaneuf five times more minors, but I think the difference could very well be close enough that Phaneuf doesn’t exactly have to be Karlsson by comparison to be worth more than Bouwmeester, especially considering the assumptive increase in his offensive output if he were deployed in a better way. 

Through the prism of common sense and rational thought?  It’d be a huge win.

It’d be a huge win, but not for Toronto.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/12/14 at 07:24 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The current state of the blueline is such that if TOR kept some of the cap hit and the assets going the other way weren’t completely outlandish…. yeah I might take him.

He’s not a #1, but as a #2 and not wearing a letter?  He’s probably fine.

Posted by Primis on 05/12/14 at 08:10 PM ET

wedge56's avatar

Phaneuf?  Phuk no.

Posted by wedge56 on 05/19/14 at 10:46 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com