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He would record his first point, an assist, four nights later in a game against the Ottawa Senators and scored his first goal as a Leaf on April 7, 2010, on Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.
Phaneuf was named an alternate captain in Toronto nine games after being acquired after Mike Komisarek suffered a season-ending injury.
Thus Phaneuf, a veteran defenceman with a lengthy contract, began being shopped around.
On March 2, 2015, Phaneuf was almost traded to the Detroit Red Wings, however the deal fell through at the last minute when Toronto refused to retain a large portion of Phaneuf's salary. When Toronto hired head coach Mike Babcock the following season, Phaneuf excelled, experiencing fewer penalty minutes and better defensive play under his reduced minutes.
On April 21, 2013, Phaneuf and the Leafs clinched a Stanley Cup playoff spot, the first time for Phaneuf since the 2008–09 season with the Calgary Flames.
On December 10, 2013, Phaneuf received a two-game suspension on a boarding hit on Boston Bruins defenceman Kevan Miller, which occurred on December 8, 2013, in Toronto.
He finished his second season with the Kings, recording a career low 1 goal and 6 points and a Plus-minus of -21 through 67 games.
On June 15, 2019, the Kings bought out the final two years of Phaneuf's contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
His mother, a former figure skater who competed for Prince Edward Island at the 1975 Canada Winter Games, taught him to skate.
He was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November after leading all rookie defencemen with nine points and two game-winning goals.
On February 2, 2010, Phaneuf made his Toronto Maple Leaf debut, leading all Maple Leafs players in time on ice and ended the night with a fight and given second star of the game honours.
He made his NHL debut on October 5, 2005, against the Minnesota Wild.
Five nights later, he scored his first career goal, assist and points against the Colorado Avalanche.
He was drafted ninth overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by Calgary and made his NHL debut in 2005 after a four-year junior career with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL), in which he was twice named the Defenceman of the Year.