NHL Trade Rumors: Several teams interested in Dion Phaneuf

OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 19: Ottawa Senators Defenceman Dion Phaneuf (2) waits for play to resume during second period National Hockey League action between the Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators on December 19, 2017, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 19: Ottawa Senators Defenceman Dion Phaneuf (2) waits for play to resume during second period National Hockey League action between the Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators on December 19, 2017, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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In one of the most surprising NHL Trade Rumors, several teams have expressed interest in Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf

This is a weird year to be an NHL contender. Each conference’s playoff race is pretty wide open. And just about every contender would like to add some blueline depth. This has led to teams thinking a little bit outside of the box. According to a recent radio segment from Darren Dreger, Dion Phaneuf is someone who multiple teams have expressed interest in.

"From a trade standpoint yeah, the usual names are out there, but I think you guys might be even a little bit surprised to hear that I believe there’s interest in Dion Phaneuf."

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Dreger notes it’s clear teams don’t have him as their top priority or choice. However, teams have been inquiring about him. And with a limited number of defensemen available, there could be some teams who get left out and call the Ottawa Senators about Phaneuf.

Trading him could be complicated, as he has three years remaining on his contract after this one. Phaneuf has a $7 million annual cap hit, though he’s due $18.5 million after this season. $3 million of that money due is a signing bonus, which would be guaranteed even in the case of a buyout.

Phaneuf’s modified no-trade clause and no-movement clause complicate matters even further. He was willing to waive the no-trade clause when he got traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Senators back in 2016. His no-trade clause allows Phaneuf to submit a list of 12 teams he can be traded to without his permission.

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It’s hard to see the Senators being able to move the defenseman without retaining some of his remaining contract. Even with the rising salary cap, teams are going to be wary to add a 32-year-old defenseman who will cost $7 million against the cap. Phaneuf has a ton of leverage thanks to his no-trade list. But teams are interested in him and at this stage in his career, he might not want to deal with a rebuild. Which is certainly possible with the Senators.

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