Ontario’s two NHL franchises have completed a blockbuster trade.
On Tuesday, the Ottawa Senators acquired Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf in a nine-player deal.
Ottawa also acquired defenceman Cody Donaghey and forwards Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey and Ryan Rupert. Donaghey is playing for the Moncton Wildcats for the QMJHL, while the others are currently with the Leafs AHL affiliate.
Rupert, a fan favourite in London, played four seasons with the Knights between 2010 and 2014. He was drafted by the Leafs in the 6th round in 2012.
The Maple Leafs get defenceman Jared Cowen and forwards Milan Michalek, Colin Greening and Tobias Lindberg, along with a 2017 second-round draft pick.
Phaneuf, the biggest name in the deal, has 24 points and 67 penalty minutes in 51 games for Toronto this season.
The key for the Leafs in this trade is longterm financial flexibility. Phaneuf was owed $7-million per season through 2021, while the contracts of Cowen, Michalek and Greening will all expire in 2017.
Lingberg is a prospect who has spent the season with the Senators AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He won the Memorial Cup in 2015 with the Oshawa Generals.
Phanuef is the first Leaf captain to be traded since Doug Gilmour was sent to New Jersey during in 1997.
Ottawa starts the day four points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay last night.
The Leafs, who lost 6-1 to Ottawa on the weekend, are second-last in the conference standings.
(Photo from the Ottawa Senators twitter account)