TORONTO - Dion Phaneuf is not about to call the NHL Players’ Association to complain to the union leaders that he is being overworked.
The Maple Leafs captain is averaging 27 minutes 56 seconds of ice time a game, the most he has played since he became an NHL regular in 2005-06 with the Calgary Flames, and his ice time was pushed past 32 minutes on Saturday night in New York against the Rangers.
At an NHL-worst minus-8 before games were played on Monday, some have wondered whether Phaneuf is being skated to the bone. But the 27-year-old defenceman said that’s not the case.
“I feel good,” Phaneuf said. “With being minus-3 one night (on Thursday against the New York Islanders) and being minus-4 the next (against the New York Rangers), I am not happy about that, but my air feels fine.
“I have to be better and I know that. As a player when you get tapped to go on the ice, it is your job to go out and do what is asked of you. I am fine with that.”