Apr 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) controls the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. The Kings defeated the Sharks 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Trade Speculation: Is Dion Phaneuf for Joe Thorton A Possibility?


Being a captain seems to mean less after every season in the NHL. Some teams choose not to even have a captain. These days, captains can even be swapped in trades on a whim such as the Marty St. Louis for Ryan Callahan trade between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So, in the spirit of that type of trade, could the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks do the same? Both have captains that haven’t exactly lived up to their expectations in their respective cities. Dion Phaneuf has been a target of Leafs Nation almost since he was acquired. Joe Thornton hasn’t been able to lead the Sharks to playoff success.

This leads to the question that is inevitably asked when players are struggling. Would a change of scenery help?

The Sharks might not be able to re-sign defenseman Dan Boyle this off-season and Phaneuf might be a suitable replacement for him. Everyone in Toronto has been clamoring for a big No. 1 center for years. Thornton would certainly fit that bill.

The other thing that both Phaneuf and Thornton have in common is that the hockey media has said that they both could be stripped as their captaincy as a result of their team’s failings. Of course, stripping a player of his captaincy could have negative results, so a trade is more likely.

Phaneuf only makes $250,000 more than Thornton so a straight trade between the two would work out. What do you guys think? Is this a trade the Leafs should explore?

Tags: Dion Phaneuf Joe Thornton NHL Trade Speculation Toronto Maple Leafs

  • JJVmlf

    No. Another bad decision to hasten the departure or impede the devopment of another young center.

  • steven

    this would a great trade for both teams i believe something different and nothing is meant to say the same so it would be good lets now see if it happens

  • dave Kerwin

    yea because ppl want phaneuf
    and that’s not even mentioning his 8 million salary,
    i dont think the sharks would accept the entire leafs organization as their new farm team for Joe Thornton

  • Tennis Newz

    Why would the Sharks want Phaneuf? He’d go over there as probably their #4 defence man, they aren’t going to pay someone in that position $8M for 7 years. If the Sharks were to trade Thronton it’d be for some younger players, not to bring in a so-so defender with a massive contract. The Sharks are consistently good because they are well-managed so don’t expect them to do anything really stupid just to do the Leafs a favour.

  • Bill Kniess

    boy is this stupid….Sharks wouldn’t want Phaneuf’s yrs. on his contract and the Leafs don’t need to trade for now? ( if that’s what this would be doing ) Only way it works is a massive trade. Perhaps you add Boyle on a 2-3 yr. deal and that allows you to trade Kadri..for a ? With only another 7 mil on the salary cap…not doable

  • D.WAdair

    No way would Leafs make that trade, Phaneuf is to important a player to let go, who would play defense. They might need a center but not this bad. Dion need to stay put.

  • Bill

    No way. Wait two years and sign Stamkos. Clear up salary and give him 10 mill or whatever he asks for. Thornton is getting too old.

  • jimithy

    #3 had a bad year. The 2014-2015 season will be his best. Because, he will have read all the bad things about his game and he will make adjustments. If not, look for more criticism, and another frustrating season.