Saturday, June 24, 2017

{allcanada} Senators GM Dorion clears the air on Dion Phaneuf trade situation


CHICAGO – At some point soon, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion plans to have a conversation with Dion Phaneuf.

A lot has been said about the 32-year-old defenceman over the last 10 days. First he was asked by the Senators to waive a no-movement clause for the expansion draft – and declined – and then his name emerged prominently in trade rumours during the NHL's draft weekend.

As a result, Dorion figures he should probably clear the air.

"I think I wanted to wait until after the draft here because teams have been phoning on him," Dorion said Saturday afternoon. "From there, we would explore all avenues and then I'll probably reach out to him in the next week and just talk to him. We had a great conversation (about the expansion draft request).

"Dion's as good of a pro as I've ever seen in my career."

The lines of communication will have to remain open if the Senators continue trying to trade him. Phaneuf recently submitted a list of 12 teams where he can be dealt and it's believed that some of the interest on Day 2 of the draft came from an organization not included on it.

Despite all of the speculation, Dorion believes he has a good working relationship with a player who had to adjust his no-trade list to facilitate the blockbuster deal that sent him from Toronto to Ottawa in February 2016.

"They're not easy conversations when you ask someone (to waive a no-move clause), but he understood," said Dorion. "It was a man-to-man conversation. There was no bulls**t. When we talked to him I explained to him: 'I said it's not that you're the fourth-best defenceman on this team, Dion.' It's 'we want to try to top keep our top-four intact.'

"It was a big part of our success because of our top-four last year. I think if you look at Nashville it's a big part of their success."

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