Dion Phaneuf takes aim at the recent trade rumors surrounding him
"I've never asked for a trade and I'm very happy here," Phaneuf said on Friday morning. "That hasn't even crossed my mind. For you to be asking these questions today, it's a huge surprise but I understand you have to report on it."
The speculation started when a fan site, Hendricks Hockey, reported that the blueliner was unhappy in Calgary and asked general manager Darryl Sutter for a trade.The information given by blogger Randy Workman stated "I have confirmation from a confidential source that Dion has requested a trade. The Flames will only do this deal if they get what Sutter wants. Keep in mind that Sutter is in charge and he is not obligated to trade Dion and will only do so if it is beneficial to the Flames."
Despite not naming the apparent source or confirmation from the club, the rumor spread like wild fire through Twitter, a social media network, and has been circulating ever since.
Phaneuf was quick to point out that fans are free to speculate but more often than not, it's just that and there's very little, if any, truth behind rumors.
"Those are people sitting behind a computer and writing what they'd like to see happen with our team,'' Phaneuf said. ''Each and everyone has their opinion and I respect that but with regards to any talk of a trade request, this is the first I've heard of it and I'm not going to say much about that."
Phaneuf has recorded eight goals and 18 points in 43 games this season. After a shaky start to the season that saw him go several games with a minus rating, Phaneuf has really picked up his defensive game and has risen a plus-3 rating.
Sutter also chimed in on the rumor, saying that moving Phaneuf wasn't even a possibility for him.
"Whoever makes up that stuff is not doing anything," Sutter told the Calgary Herald. "We've worked really hard at building a top young defence in the league and our intention is to keep them, so that's (rumours) just from somebody who didn't have anything to do on that day."
Sutter also spoke with ESPN.com on Thursday, telling them there was definite interest in not only Phaneuf but the entire defense corps, but the Flames blueliners weren't going anywhere.
"We get calls about our defencemen,'' Sutter told ESPN.com. ''Teams think that we have seven or eight guys that are playing good and they think you have one available. But there isn't one (available)."
He was asked about those who have been vocal about their desire to ship Phaneuf off and his response was stereotypical Sutter: brash and to the point.
"I say, 'Take him out of the lineup and see how much you like it,'" Sutter told ESPN.com.