Leafs trade longtime defenseman Phaneuf to Senators

ByPIERRE LEBRUN
February 9, 2016, 11:30 AM

— -- Provincial rivals Toronto and Ottawa pulled off a blockbuster, nine-player trade Tuesday, the centerpiece seeing Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf dealt to the Senators.

The Senators got Phaneuf as well as forward Matt Frattin, forward Casey Bailey, forward Ryan Rupert and defense prospect Cody Donaghey from the Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Jared Cowen, forwards Colin Greening, Milan Michalek and Tobias Lindberg as well as Ottawa's second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

There was no salary retention in the deal, meaning this was a straight-up hockey trade. Phaneuf, 30, still has five more years remaining on his contract after this season at a $7-million cap hit.

The Senators were on Phaneuf's 10-team list of clubs he would accept a trade to so didn't need to "waive" his partial no-trade clause.

For Toronto, this clears up serious salary cap room and the immediate and obvious reaction is whether the Maple Leafs are clearing the decks to take a shot at signing pending UFA star Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer. In the meantime, the Leafs think highly of prospect Tobias Lindberg as well as netting a second-round pick in 2017, which they view as a key asset.

The Leafs are expected to be a busy team this month ahead of the deadline. They've got a number of pending UFA players they're going to likely peddle off for draft picks and/or prospects.

With the Senators, Phaneuf won't have the pressure of being captain nor the expectation of being a top-pairing defenseman. Two-time Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson fits the bill there. Ottawa hopes that adding Phaneuf, who has three goals and 21 assists this season, helps its playoff push. The Senators are four points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Phaneuf spent the first four-plus years of his career in Calgary before being traded to Toronto in January 2010. The three-time All-Star has 45 goals, 151 assists and is a minus-30 in his career.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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