LA Kings are currently in an all-around rebuild, and that kind of situation isn’t exactly a good fit for a veteran player. This is why the team decided to part ways with defenseman Dion Phaneuf, buying out the final two years of 34-year-old’s contract. The news was confirmed to media by Los Angeles Kings general manager Rob Blake.
Blake hinted at the possibility of buying out Phaneuf in early June when he revealed that the team is trying to trade the veteran. One of the possibilities was making a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, which would involve forward Patrick Marleau, but those talks didn’t come to fruition.
Phaneuf is coming off an abysmal season in which he only played 15 minutes on average while having six points and a minus-21 rating. He was also “a healthy scratch” on several occasions and ended playing just 67 games total.
Dion Phaneuf originally agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract when he was in Maple Leafs in 2014. He was then traded to Ottawa Senators in 2016 and spent two seasons there before joining Kings. Phaneuf’s two remaining years had a projected $5.25-million annual cap hit.