Los Angeles acquired the veteran defenseman and forward Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore.
What stood out most about the Tuesday night deal that sent Dion Phaneuf to the Los Angeles Kings is that no future assets came Ottawa's way. Compiling 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 30 games in 2017-18, Gaborik is two seasons removed from a 27-goal campaign. Ottawa will retain 25 percent of Phaneuf's salary in the trade. What's more is that if Gaborik retires, they'll save even more money. "I am going to go there and do the best I can to help their team". "It's not going to happen".
Phaneuf was acquired from the Maple Leafs nearly two years to the day in a similar cost-saving move which saw Jared Cowen, Colin Greening and Milan Michalek move to Toronto in what were term-contract dumps. The Kings will arrive in Pittsburgh on Wednesday ahead of his debut against the same Penguins. As a matter fact, trades involving big name players are usually kept secret until the deal is finalized. Ottawa was equally as accommodating for Phaneuf as it was in moving Mike Fisher to be near his country star wife Carrie Underwood's homebase.
Phaneuf indicated that the move to California would be beneficial for him and his wife, actress Elisha Cuthbert. He's excited to be part of the Kings and it should be interesting to see how he fits in. "I know personally he's going to do real well there". "I have nothing but great things to say about the city of Ottawa, the organization and my time here".
Senators coach Guy Boucher said he did not address the trade in the locker room and instead tried to the focus on the task at hand - trying to get a win. Two guys I have been far in the playoffs with. He may get another crack now. Two players that I really respect. "As a player, those [runs] are what you play for". You want to have that success, you want to go on those runs. It is a lot to take in right now, standing here there are a lot of different emotions, but I am excited about where I am going. All that seems to be missing for Phaneuf is a Stanley Cup.
But only being on the hook for $5.25 million per year does salve the sting a bit for Blake, who unloaded his own anchor in Gaborik. That contract's inclusion made it easier for the Kings to absorb Phaneuf's new, lower cap hit - even with Drew Doughty set to soon become a free agent on the blueline.
It was easy to tell something was up in the second period when Phaneuf suddenly stopped getting ice time and word started to leak out that something was up.
There'll be more of that from the Ottawa Senators before the February 26 trade deadline, and probably even beyond it.
Time has rendered what would have once been a league-shaking trade into a mere financial transaction. Defencemen and centres are at a premium, but Phaneuf was ranked 39th on the board because of his contract.
Give us your thoughts on this trade.
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