Ahead of tonight’s matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings defensemen Drew Doughty had a few choice words for his hometown team and they concerned the Leafs’ former captain Dion Phaneuf.
Phaneuf, of course, is now with the Kings but it wasn’t long ago that he was captain of the Leafs from 2010 until 2016. In the three seasons since Phaneuf’s departure however, the team has yet to replace him. Despite this, Phaneuf’s legacy in Toronto isn’t exactly squeaky clean. Under Phaneuf the Leafs qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs just once and in put forth some of the worst seasons in franchise history. Still, according to Doughty, the Leafs “could use a guy like Dion Phaneuf right now.”
Drew Doughty says Maple Leafs could use a guy like Dion Phaneuf now.
Uh… you sure about that, Drew? Phaneuf hasn’t topped to 30 point pleateau since 2013-14 and he’s been a negative +/- player for six consecutive seasons. Then there’s the the matter of his $7 million annual salary. It’s pretty safe to say that the Leafs would have ZERO interest in Phaneuf… even if he were offered up to the Leafs. The only reason that he’s with the Kings in the first place is because Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk wanted his salary off the books. Phaneuf was shipped to the Kings last season in a salary dump deal for forward Marian Gaborik.
Doughty’s comments come hot on the heels of Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller chirping the Leafs as well, calling them “not that special.”
Check it out:
Lars Eller on the Maple Leafs: "We were just playing against Crosby and Malkin, so everything kind of drops off from there. It's not that special, to be honest. It's a good team, like a lot of others. They'll probably be a playoff team, I would think."
Leafs forward Nazem Kadri fired back at Eller, calling his comments, “bulletin board material.”
Check it out:
Nazem Kadri says this Lars Eller quote is "bulletin board material" for the Leafs. Adds: "I don't know how he can be serious with that comment."