Oilers Trade Rumors: Dion Phaneuf on Edmonton's Radar?

It’s one name that has circulated the rumor mill earlier this summer and now Dion Phaneuf is once again being mentioned on the trading block with the Edmonton Oilers being tied to the defenseman.

The story comes from Bill Watters who was the Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager.  Watters was on air with Bob Stauffer and the former Leafs employee took the opportunity to lash out at Phaneuf, repeatedly slandering his character and inability to be a leader for the Leafs.  It was also there that Watters relayed the news that the Oilers were interested in acquiring Phaneuf if in fact Toronto should make him available, courtesy of the Edmonton Journal.

Dion Phaneuf should be dispatched as soon as they possibly can and the story I hear is that Edmonton’s interested and if they are tell [general manager Craig MacTavish] to take him and have fun with him. I find him to be the most overrated, undernourished hockey player in the history of the NHL and whoever made him the captain of the Maple Leafs should have been fired six years ago.

We’ll get to the part about being a poor captain in a moment but first let’s recap what Stauffer had to say about the rumor.  Given Stauffer’s links to the hockey club, he is typically on top of any trade rumors, breaking news etc.  and to this point he has not heard any talk that Phaneuf is on Edmonton’s radar.

Stauffer mentioned he doubts the Oilers would want to acquire Phaneuf’s salary that brings a cap hit of $6.5 million for next season.  Giving up a talented, young blue liner is likely what Toronto would want according to the radio host and with Phaneuf set to become an unrestricted free-agent, barring an extension from Edmonton if they acquired him, it could be another calculated risk for Craig MacTavish to make.

Phaneuf is a legitimate top-four defenseman in this league and he plays with an edge.  Just the thought of having Phaneuf on the ice and the next shift having to deal with rugged Andrew Ference is enough to make many teams cringe at the thought of having to come to Edmonton for a sixty minute bruising.   That is what has been missing in Edmonton for the past seven seasons.

Back to Watters and his publicly disparaging remarks regarding the Leafs captain. Do Oilers’ fans care about what a former assistant GM had to say about a player that helped guide the Leafs to the playoffs after several seasons of misery in Toronto?  Or does the thought of having a player of Phaneuf’s caliber over ride the concerns that this is now the second club that is said to be tired of Dion’s dressing room antics? The Oilers need a player like Phaneuf, plain and simple.

Leafs GM’ Dave Nonis won’t give Phaneuf away for cheap. In fact he’s likely going to hold a king’s ransom for the veteran blue liner if Edmonton should come calling for his services.  It’d be a bold move for Mac-T to make but that’s become the expectation this summer.

The other expectation is that this club will compete for a playoff spot next season and by acquiring Phaneuf, that would go a long way in helping settle the shades of doubt that Oilers’ fans have about the mediocre blue line; a blue line that many feel isn’t strong enough to shore up the defensive lapses that Edmonton has been prone to making over the last couple of years.  With an average defense corps, this Oilers team may not compete for a playoff spot, making a deal for Phaneuf a potential top priority for MacTavish and company.

For more news and analysis on the Edmonton Oilers, follow us on Twitter @OilonWhyte and like us on Facebook.

Tags: Craig MacTavish Dion Phaneuf Edmonton Oilers

  • Andrew

    Top 4 defenceman? Try top 2 – he’d be a number 1 dman on at least half the teams in the league. He has played very well in Toronto, but being at the centre of the hockey universe, he gets pounced on for every mistake without people taking his situation into account. He plays 30 minutes a night against the top players for the opposition on a weak blue line. He often is forced to try and make things happen, because the Leafs still are not that good of a team and he has little to work with on the point. He would be a great pick-up for the Oilers, but the Oilers should have to pay a kings ransom to attain him. Toronto needs a top centre and Gagne is certainly not enough. Oilers should have to give up Nugent-Hopkins or Yakupov and a first round pick to get that deal done.

    • Nathan Browett

      Either Nuge or Yaks AND a 1st rounder for Phaneuf??? Hahaha you must be joking right?

    • Multiscoop

      Noooooo… Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov were both 1st ovr picks remember and their elite-level skills are still improving. Dion Phaneuf would command probably a 1st round pick, maybe a Jeff Petry or Martin Marincin, and probably a guy like Linus Omark just to sweeten the pot. But a first overall pick AND a first round pick? That’s way too much,

      • Andrew

        The asking price will be crazy. I didn’t get into who’s worth what, but the Leafs would basically be forfeiting the playoffs if they trade Phaneuf, thus, they are going to ask for a hell of a lot in return for him. In addition, Phaneuf is proven – achievement is worth more than potential. Nugent-Hopkins would be hard-pressed to play fit into the Leafs lineup unless Bozak was moved out, which won’t happen until the Leafs sign Kessel to an extension, because they’re bum buddies. And, Yakupov would be playing second or third line depending on chemistry. I really don’t think a trade will happen, because the asking price for Phaneuf will be astronomical.

        If you think Marincin or Petry and Omark is enough, you’re nuts. None of those players could even crack the lineup.

        • Multiscoop

          I was just throwing suggestions. A first round pick would almost guaranteed be a part of any deal, and the Oil would probably have to throw in a B prospect or two, like Marincin + 2nd rnd or even a guy like Tyler Pitlick or Curtis Hamilton. It would take a lot to get Phaneuf but saying Nuge or Yak would be going the other way for a guy who has been a lightning rod for criticism and who’s going to be a UFA at the end of 2013-14 doesn’t sound realistic.

          • Andrew

            Yeah, but you can’t listen to the media. Being captain for TML is the most difficult job in the NHL. Even Mats Sundin took his share of criticism over the years. The Leafs organization and individual who know hockey aren’t listening to the sports writers who think they know what they’re talking about. All I’m saying is I don’t think the Leafs would do anything with Sundin unless they’re going to get someone who has the potential to be a first line centre (Hopkins) or a star (Yakupov); hence, I don’t think there will be a deal between the two teams for Phaneuf. And, the won’t trade for Gagne because Carlyle doesn’t want or need another small centreman.

          • Multiscoop

            You make a lot of sense, it’s just that Phaneuf gets a lot of deserved criticism for his defensive play, which imo is brutal. I also stopped listening to the media about the Leafs a loooong time ago because there is waaay too much coverage of them.

          • Prostyle

            I agree with you that no deal will be done. Dion is extremely overrated and the Oil would be crazy to trade for a guy who only has a year on his contract. Still you are a bit optimistic if you think Dion is worth a first round pick and a first overall player. There would be a conditional first round pick based on re-signing and a roster player with a few years on contract, in my opinion that would be the best Toronto could hope for. Keep in mind Dion would be in Edmonton for one year tops and then would sign somewhere else. If Toronto wants that crazy asking price they will have to hold on to him until trade deadline and put him on the block for a team hoping to compete. Oilers won’t tear the fabric of what they are trying to do just for a rental contract.

  • superdutyfan

    He is a good defense man but he also comes with a lot of baggage we don’t need him but if a trade was to happen straight up Hemsky for Phaneuf. After his performance in T.O. in the playoffs Im surprised the fans in T.O. have not run him out of town HaHa !!!

    • Andrew

      You know shit about hockey. Phaneuf is a fantastic Dman and Hemsky couldn’t even crack the Leafs lineup – he could make the fourth line, but he wouldn’t jive with Orr and Mclaren, so it wouldn’t happen in a million years.

      • superdutyfan

        I know lots about hockey but I don’t give to sh*ts about LEAF HOCKEY !!! The Oilers Don’t need to over pay for anyone on the Leafs roaster. The Leafs will blow up all on their own. Not to mention they like to trade to conference rivals and give everything away. Example Andrew Raycroft for Tuukka Rask. Just one fine example of Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Transactions. How did that work for you this yr LMAO !!!!

        • Leafan

          It should be two sh*ts. You really should learn some grammar

          • superdutyfan

            You are right Leafan it should have been two not to. I did not realize that grammar was such a high priority on a message board. I will try to be more careful next time. But if I make a mistake I am sure one of you leaf fans will correct me because that is all you can comment about !!! HAHA !!!

        • Andrew

          Centre of the hockey universe douchebag! Sorry, we didn’t finish at the bottom of the league for the last decade to still continue to miss the playoffs. How bout Beauchemin for Lupul and Gardiner? How bout Stajan and a bag of pucks for Phaneuf? Clarkson wouldn’t even come to Edmonton for more money.

        • Roger Salles

          you said it, you don`t give a sh####$ about leafs hockey so you don`t know or follow the leafs but your own team. Andrew hit the nail on the head with his comments on Dion, put Shea Weber in the weak leafs defense and see if he can survive!!!

      • Prostyle

        Andrew, Hemsky is injured a lot, that is his real only weakness. If you look at his points per game when he is healthy he is actually one of the better forwards in the league. I know you are excited that your team made the playoffs this year and it’s awesome to see more Canadian teams making them. However your appraisal of talent around the league is fairly skewed. If all the Leafs players were as good as you consider them, they would have made it a lot farther into the playoffs and been seated much higher.

        • Andrew

          I’m referring to the quality of two players, Phaneuf and Hemsky. Phaneuf is a highly underrated dman who takes a lot of heat because he has the toughest job in the NHL – captain of TML. Newsflash, being injured all the time effects your value. And to call him one of the better forwards in the NHL is a ludicrous statement. Which of the top 4 wingers could he replace – Lupul, JVR, Kessel, or Clarkson? None.

          • Derek Stykalo

            Allow me to chime in here. First, fight nice everyone LOL. Second, Hemsky is a talented player and likely a second line winger on many clubs. Problem in Edmonton is the youth movement and now the Perron trade has pushed him back to the third line and making $5 million isn’t really the place for Hemsky. Phaneuf on the other hand is a top-four d-man on any club around the league. Top two? On maybe half the teams. But Edmonton needs him for his style of play – a tough blue liner with an edge. Yes, he’s a defensive liability and his offensive production would be a plus. Plain and simple though, the Oilers need a player like Dion on the back end to help make them tougher to play against. Hemsky straight up for Phaneuf won’t happen. Neither would Gagner given the lack of size up the middle the Leafs already have with Bozak and Kadri. Meaning if Edm threw in a young d-man with Hemsky then maybe a deal could happen. Would Hemmer crack the Leafs top two lines? Probably not and there again lies the problem. He’s a $5 million dollar player who’s best suited for a second line role. Thanks for reading everyone and thanks for the comments.

          • Andrew

            Thank you, while I disagree with your valuations – moreso of Dion – we reach the same conclusion, The only way the Leafs are going to do this deal is if they’re getting Hopkins or Yakupov because they’re not going to make the deal for Gagne or Hemsky and clearly Eberle and Hall are untouchables (rightfully so); hence, there is not going to be a deal.

  • Dane Pfeifle

    Your all crazy…..His downside FAR outweighs his upside, attitude and contract. Dont need him…thank you very much…..lets develop what we have, not create more problems.