‘I think it’s a cop-out’ — Shanahan cool to idea of stripping Phaneuf’s C

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If Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf isn’t traded this summer, don’t expect him to be stripped of his ‘C’ before next season.

“I don’t know if that’s a solution,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan told the Toronto Star. “I think it’s a cop-out, to a certain degree an easy way out.”

Instead, Shanahan wants “to help enhance the player and leader that Dion is,” while suggesting that perhaps Phaneuf needs to adopt a less-is-more attitude and not try to be “all things at once.”

In the wake of Toronto’s regular-season collapse, stripping Phaneuf of the captaincy is an idea that’s been floated in the mainstream media and debated by bloggers. It’s been done before by NHL teams, like when the Dallas Stars took the ‘C’ from Mike Modano and gave it to Brenden Morrow. It happened to Patrick Marleau in San Jose, too.

And for a team like Toronto, one that was accused of complacency by one of its now-former assistant coaches, there’s a “wake-up call”-type argument to be made by those who favor doing the same to Phaneuf.

Doesn’t sound like Shanahan is buying that argument though.

“I’ve heard too many times in my life, talking about leadership, this team can’t succeed with this leadership group,” he said. “Until they do.”