There are many assumptions being made that Phaneuf could be an Edmonton Oiler before the 16th overall selection is made in the 2015 NHL Draft. Pittsburgh traded their 1st round pick (16th overall) to Edmonton in the David Perron deal, and that pick could be used to land Phaneuf.
You can say all you want that he is a bad player or isn't a quality defenceman, but i'm sorry to all the haters because he is among the leagues best. Don't freak out, I didn't say he was the best, but he's among the top. Once teams found out Toronto was going to rebuild, many called asking about the availability for Phaneuf. Teams such as the Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins called. If some of the leagues best franchises wanted Phaneuf, what does that say about him? The fact is he was asked to do too much in Toronto, and was scrutinized by the media and fans for every little mistake. With an Oilers squad that has Ference, Schultz, and Darnell Nurse coming up, he may not have to do as much.
The Oilers are looking to end their rebuild, and with a solid group of forwards they will look to address their defence. Just like the Islanders did last season when they ended their rebuild by acquiring Boychuk and Leddy, the Oilers will look to do the same. The connections start with the fact that Phaneuf is an Edmonton native, and he doesn't have the Oilers listed on his no-trade clause. As I said before he may not have to do as much in Edmonton as he would in Toronto because the Leafs defence is atrocious, and he was the best and therefore had to do everything. A change of scenery in his hometown could be beneficial.
New Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has openly said that he put in offers for Phaneuf at the trade deadline when he was still in control of the Bruins. Since he is in Edmonton, and the Oilers so badly need defence, and the fact that he desires Phaneuf; a trade could soon be possible.
The Leafs want draft picks and trading their star defenceman for a package deal to Edmonton that involves the 16th overall pick could work for both sides. What would be the most difficult part of the deal would be the package that Toronto will ask for, which is sure to involve one of Edmonton's top prospects to go along with the pick. At the trade deadline, the Detroit Red Wings made a push for Dion but the Leafs refused to deal him because Detroit wouldn't include any of their top prospects in the deal. The Leafs were asking for picks and one of Dylan Larkin or Anthony Mantha, and Detroit wasn't willing to do that. The possibility is there that the Oilers are though.
GM Chiarelli has shown no fear of trading young players, which is evident when he dealt Tyler Seguin to the Stars. Acquiring Phaneuf could push the Oilers closer towards the playoffs as their defensive needs would be lessened with this acquisition.
The Stars are aligning for this deal, and all it needs is for one of the two teams to call the other to begin the trade talks. The connection of Edmonton's defensive needs, Chiarelli's past negotiations for Phaneuf, and Oilers fans wanting a winning team could make this deal happen. There's still lots of time, we will have to wait and see.