It was apparent after the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 5-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday that captain Dion Phaneuf is running out of ways to describe his disappointment in the 2014-15 campaign.
According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, it’s not just the losing Phaneuf is upset about.
“I believe he’s ticked off for many reasons including not being traded,” Kypreos told Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday. “He was very upset he didn’t end up a Detroit Red Wings on trade deadline day, so he’s trying to get through it.”
The Maple Leafs and Red Wings were working on a trade in March involving Phaneuf, but it fell apart because the Leafs’ asking price was too high. Although the team was reportedly willing to eat some of Phaneuf’s remaining salary, the Leafs wanted highly touted prospect Anthony Mantha, which was too steep a price for Ken Holland and the Red Wings.
Phaneuf has a career low three goals in 69 games this season to go with 25 assists, 106 penalty minutes and a minus-10 rating. In many ways, the Leafs’ effort Wednesday was symbolic of the season as a whole.
“I will talk at the end of the year about why we had problems this year and what went wrong,” Phaneuf told reporters Wednesday. “I’m not going to talk about it tonight. I’ll talk about Columbus and how we got beat there, but I’m not going to talk about the rest of the year until Monday.”
Kypreos doesn’t think there is anything wrong with the 29-year-old’s post-game comments at this stage of the season.
“I’m okay with his comments last night,” Kypreos said. “I’m okay with the way he’s carried himself over the last couple weeks.
“He’s not going to be a Leaf next year. He’s not going to be the captain next year. He knows that. He understands that. He just wants to get out of this thing relatively sane.”
The Maple Leafs finish their season Saturday when they host the Montreal Canadiens.