As the trade deadline drew to its conclusion on Monday, there were reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings were working on a trade involving captain Dion Phaneuf.
That never happened and Detroit instead acquired blueliner Marek Zidlicky from New Jersey, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Phaneuf won’t be wearing a Red Wings jersey in the future. It’s thought that Red Wings GM Ken Holland decided it would be better to postpone the talks until the summer given that they weren’t going anywhere in the short time frame that they had, according to the Ottawa Sun.
“What usually happens is these trades get too big to do at the deadline,” a league executive told the Sun.
“It’s OK for the Leafs because they’re going nowhere this year and trying to rebuild. The Wings have something pretty good going.”
Phaneuf’s $7 million annual cap hit through 2020-21 is believed to be a complication, though not necessarily an insurmountable one. Detroit might move forward Stephen Weiss to Toronto help mitigate the cap burden. The Red Wings also reportedly pushed for the Leafs to retain some of Phaneuf’s salary when they talked last, so they might ask for that again should talks resume over the summer.