Just days after fellow punishing defender Braydon Coburn announced his retirement from hockey, his counterpart Dion Phaneuf, a three-time NHL All-Star inactive for the past three seasons, today formally announced he is stepping away from the game at age 36.
Picked ninth overall by Calgary in the 2003 NHL Draft, Phaneuf would spend his first five pro seasons with the Flames, establishing himself as a powerful two-way defender. It was this impact that made him the centrepiece of a blockbuster trade with Toronto in 2010, bringing Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs, where by the following season he would be named team captain. Phaneuf would have a tumultuous time in Toronto in his seven seasons, struggling with recurring injuries and a lack of playoff success, making the postseason just once in his tenure. Phaneuf was again dealt in a major trade, this time to Ottawa, in 2016, where he would help the Senators to within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017. However, with production slowing, he was dealt to Los Angeles in 2018, where he would play his 1000th pro game, but would be bought out after just 93 games with the Kings. Phaneuf retires as a three-time NHL All-Star (2007, 2008, 2012), notching 494 points in 1048 career games, along with another 21 points in 55 career playoff games.
Phaneuf made his Team Canada debut at the 2004 World Junior Championship, making the tournament All-Star team after a shocking Silver medal finish; however, Phaneuf would return to All-Star form in 2005, helping Canada to Gold. He made his senior debut at the 2007 World Championship, his first of three Worlds (2007, 2011, 2012), capturing Gold at the former, followed by fifth place finishes at his final two tournaments.
By virtue of the IHLC missing the medal round at the 2005 World Juniors, Phaneuf did not win his first IHLC until 2007, winning again twice more in 2011 and 2012. We wish Dion and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!