On those Phaneuf trade rumors

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The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t fire their head coach after their disastrous finish to the 2013-14 season, but this past weekend did bring more “eager to talk”-type trade rumors.

First to report the availability of captain Dion Phaneuf was Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, who tweeted Saturday that the Leafs were “shopping” the 29-year-old defenseman to teams in the Western Conference, and that there was “lots of interest,” especially if Toronto were willing to eat some salary.

Today, TSN’s Darren Dreger added his two cents to the speculation:

This is far from the first time Phaneuf’s name has been heard in trade rumors as a member of the Leafs, but most of those came before he signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension in December. It’s not surprising, however, that Toronto’s designated leader, by way of the ‘C’s that he wears on his jersey, is in the middle of more rumors in the wake of the team’s latest precipitous collapse.

What are some possible trade destinations? Well, if the Leafs are only willing to send their captain to the Western Conference, the Oilers have said they could use a “big stud defenseman,” and the Stars have said something similar. Colorado’s another possible fit.