Ottawa Senators: Fans Should Appreciate Dion Phaneuf

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 23: Dion Phaneuf
OTTAWA, ON - MAY 23: Dion Phaneuf /

The expansion draft may have passed, but there is still drama around it and none is greater than that surrounding the Ottawa Senators.

As the expansion draft came all teams were forced to make difficult choices. Who to protect and who to leave at risk to be taken by Vegas? Some teams were forced to protect players they would otherwise leave unprotected because of no move clauses. The Ottawa Senators were one of those teams, forced to protect Dion Phaneuf. Many teams asked their players to waive their clauses to help the team protect the best players available. Phaneuf was one of the few who refused. As a result, Phaneuf has received hate from many fans for not doing what the team asked. However, Sens fans shouldn’t be upset that he refused to waive his clause, they should be filled with joy.

A Player Who Wants To Stay

The Ottawa Senators have always struggled to attract free agents, Ottawa has been known as a destination available stars try to avoid. The only stars the Sens are generally able to acquire are home grown or come from trades. Even middling free agents are hesitant to come to Ottawa. It may be because Ottawa is a Canadian market, the owner is known as a cheapskate, or the team has been mediocre for years. Or it could be for a plethora of other reasons. Dion Phaneuf wants to be here. He wants to be an Ottawa Senator and the fans should appreciate that.

It’s possible that Phaneuf would have been passed over in the expansion draft as many believed. However, it’s also very possible he would have been taken. Phaneuf, despite his critics, is not a bad player. He’s an overpaid player but that isn’t something Vegas has to worry about. They won’t be contending for years and therefore won’t care about a few expensive contracts. Phaneuf could have stepped in as the captain of Vegas and therefore could have been a player their management was looking at. Phaneuf had every reason to refuse to waive his no move clause. After all he had suffer through some of Toronto’s worst years. Now he’s on a team that made the conference final. Phaneuf is experiencing winning for the first time in his career and he wants to stay.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Time For Thomas Chabot to Step Up


Dion Phaneuf isn’t a perfect player but he’s a solid one. Fans appreciated him for what he was all year and even praised him for his contribution to the team. For a fan base that complains about players not wanting to play here they turned on one who does very quickly. So, while we may have lost Methot we still have Phaneuf and we should be happy about it. The Ottawa Senators have a player who wants to play for them and the fans should appreciate it.