Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Storylines Heading Into the Draft and Offseason

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4. What Does the Team Do With Dion Phaneuf?

Apr 8, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

While the Leafs are taking calls on Kessel as the draft approaches, there is still a lot of doubt about the future of the captain. At the trade deadline, many insiders believed Toronto and Detroit almost had a deal that would include Phaneuf going to Detroit. Now with Mike Babcock in the fold, Phaneuf told Sportsnet he still wants to make things work in Toronto, even with the team going through a rebuild. People are wondering whether Phaneuf would be willing to go through the pain of this rebuild, which Babcock confirmed in his news conference. What has Phaneuf been going through before?

Mar 16, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf (3) takes a shot on goal that is tipped in for the leafs first goal of the game against the Edmonton Oilers in the first period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports

It has not been easy for Phaneuf, especially with him being one of the most criticized players on the team – can it get any worse for him? If the Leafs decide to strip him of his captaincy, that would be a kick to the gut, but one that would not come as a surprise. So when it comes to the future of Phaneuf, there is still a possibility of him being traded, but if the right deal is not out there, then the team would be better off keeping him around. So it looks like for now that Leafs fans can expect Phaneuf to stick around a little while longer.