Dion Phaneuf is on the move again as the Los Angeles Kings hope he bolsters their blue line for a playoff run.
Los Angeles acquired the veteran defenceman and forward Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. The Senators are retaining 25 per cent of Phaneuf’s $7 million salary-cap hit, so the Kings get a top-four defenceman for $5.25 million over the next three-plus years.
It’s with a tear in my eye I say goodbye for now, to 2 good friends and true pros. I wish you nothing but the best <a href=”https://twitter.com/NateThompson44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@NateThompson44</a> and my dearest friend Dion.
“Dion brings to our club a great deal of experience and leadership,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said. “He also plays with a physical edge, which complements our lineup well.”
The 32-year-old Phaneuf was pulled from Ottawa’s bench during a 6-3 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins with the trade being finalized afterward. The Kings visit the Penguins on Thursday, so he doesn’t even have to leave Pittsburgh to meet up with his new team.
“I’m excited to be going to the Los Angeles Kings,” Phaneuf said. “It’s going to be a real good experience for me to be able to join that team. … I’m excited about the team that they have, where they’re at in the standings and I’m going to go there and do my best to do whatever I can to help their team.”
Phaneuf has 16 points in 52 games this season and 478 in 954 games during his 13-year NHL career with the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Senators. He was traded again almost exactly two years after the Senators got him from the Maple Leafs.
The timing of the trade was a bit unusual, though the fact he was dealt came as no surprise. After reaching double overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final last spring, the Senators are 19-27-9 and just three points out of last place in the Atlantic Division.
‘We wish him all the best’