Phaneuf: trade talk ‘takes a toll on your room’


The Toronto Maple Leafs have already made one significant trade, sending Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to Nashville last week.

Whether they make more deals prior to the March 2 deadline is the main topic of conversation these days in Toronto, where any hope of making the playoffs has been extinguished amid reports the Leafs could be on the verge of a full roster makeover.

“It wears on you,” Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said, per the Toronto Sun. “It has not been a good month-and-a-half for us. We know where we’re at.

“We’ll be asked lots of questions and there will be lots of rumors. That’s not easy to deal with. You can feel it in the dressing room. You’re talking about guys’ lives, their jobs and careers. It definitely takes a toll on your room.”

About the only Leaf that seems untouchable at this point is defenseman Morgan Rielly. Maybe James van Riemsdyk, too.

The others — including Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak — could all be dealt, either at the deadline or this summer.

The future is also uncertain for a couple of pending restricted free agents, Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Bernier.

“I love living here and love being a Leaf, but if I’m not in the plans, I’m not in the plans,” said Lupul.

What those plans actually are could become more apparent in the next week.

Related: Lupul loathes idea of Toronto tear-down