Eastern Conference

Are Ontario’s NHL Captains Being Shopped?


Mandatory Credit: senators.nhl.com/

Mandatory Credit: senators.nhl.com/

Over the last 24 hours rumors regarding Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza and Toronto Maple Leafs captain, Dion Phaneuf have emerged. Sportsnet hockey insider Nick Kypreos has reported that both the Maple Leafs and Senators are shopping their captains.

There seems to be lots of interest in Dion Phaneuf, according to Kypreos. Some teams think that his value is around $5-6 million, whereas his actual cap-hit starting next season will be $7 million for the next 7 years. Sportsnet’s Darren Millard thinks if the Leafs are willing to retain some of Phaneuf’s salary in a potential trade they are clearly admitting to their mistake of overpaying for the former Calder Trophy winner.

On the other hand TSN’s hockey analyst Darren Dreger is reporting otherwise. He says just like Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner, the Maple Leafs are listening to offers for Dion Phaneuf but are not actively shopping him or anything. Darren Dreger on the Radio via Hope Smoke:


“The Leafs aren’t shopping Phaneuf. Nonis told me yesterday, the Leafs will move him but aren’t shopping him.” … ”That’s Nonis’ philosophy and always has been. He’ll move anyone if the price is right.” … ”We get caught up in semantics. Leafs aren’t shopping Gardiner and Kadri either, but teams know they’re listening. Dion’s the same.” … ”I’ll tell you this, Phaneuf is considered a better defenseman in every single NHL market outside of Toronto.” … ”Nonis told me yesterday that the Leafs haven’t discussed Phaneuf with anyone since the last trade deadline.”


If the Maple Leafs wish to trade Phaneuf before July 1st then they must have the trade approved by Phaneuf first because of a No Trade Clause that was included in the last few years of his current/old deal. After July 1st a modified no trade clause kicks in where he must submit a list of teams he’d be willing to accept a trade to, as many as 10 according to Nick Kypreos.

If a trade is to occur it will most likely be a trade a normal deal and not a quick fix trade deadline rental player type of deal, taking in the fact that Phaneuf’s new 7 year, $49 million deal is set to kick in at the start of next season. Some say that he is overpaid and others think the deal is just right. Time will tell if the Leafs management put too much faith in the Captain and handed him the wrong amount of cash or not, but for now enjoy the show.


On the other side of the province, well not really, but the Ottawa Senators are looking to trade their Captain as well. They will likely trade Jason Spezza before next months draft, according to Bruce Garrioch of Ottawa Sun. Senators GM Bryan Murray was already working the phones at the NHL trade deadline on a potential deal involving Jason Spezza but nothing seemed to have clicked.

Jason Spezza has 1 year left with a$7 million cap-hit on a 7 year, $49 million deal he signed back in 2008. According to Capgeek, Spezza has a No Movement Clause in his contract along with a Modified No Trade Clause, in which Spezza can submit a 10-team no-trade list each season from 2011-12 through 2014-15.

Bruce Garrioch has reported that Spezza already submitted a list of 10 teams he has no intention of playing for though a trade. Taking in the fact that Spezza only has 1 year left on his contract, Garrioch also stated that the pieces the Senators would get in return would be similar to those of a trade deadline package, which usually includes a player who can help the team out now, a prospect and a 1st round pick.

Both teams are reportedly looking to trade their captains to a team in the western conference.

What do you folks think, will the NHL Captains of Ontario get traded? Where will they go? What will the teams get in return?

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Paramveer Singh Virk

A Kitchener native, Paramveer joined The Hockey Report in 2014 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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