Dion Phaneuf joined the TSN Free Agent Day broadcast to talk about the Phil Kessel trade.

On how he heard the news:
I was actually out on my boat fishing. I was extremely surprised as I think a lot of people were. I have nothing but really good things to say about Phil. We were very good friends and it’s a tough day when you lose a teammate, especially one you’re a real good friend with. It’s a difficult part of the business, but is a business and I understand, I’ve been in it for a while now. I wish Phil nothing but the best. We knew there was going to be changes with how things finished up last year. This is one of many changes that have been made. I wish Phil nothing but the best. It’s definitely a day of mixed emotions for me.

On the possibility of him moving next:
I’m preparing to come back to camp ready to play. I got asked that when we signed Mike as the head coach of our team. I’m excited about the opportunity to work for him. That’s how I am preparing over the summer, to come to camp and be ready, to be focused and give everything I have for my team. That hasn’t changed.

On the reports of Mike Babcock ‘liking’ his game:
I’ve had some good conversations with Mike. I’m just excited to work for him. He’s won at every level. He’s done a lot of real god things in the NHL. You look at when he was in Detroit, the success that they had, they were a very consistent team. I want to learn as much as I possibly can from him. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work for him and it was a big step when we got him as our head coach.

On the team stripping it down and getting younger:
I’m committed to the Toronto Maple Leafs. When I signed for 7 years, I wanted to win in Toronto. Obviously, with the way that things are going with the organization in the form of a rebuild, that’s part of the business. I’m fully committed to that and I want to do everything I can to help our team win. Obviously, when we’re going younger and we are going through a rebuild, there are going to be tough times. I’m going to be a part of that, I look forward to the challenge of that. That starts this fall.

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