DETROIT -- Dion Phaneuf is proud to be a member of the Ottawa Senators and excited to be a part of the playoff race. He's also moving forward and doesn't want to talk all that much about his time and legacy in Toronto.
"I want to focus on tonight," Phaneuf said during his first chat with the media following the nine-player trade Tuesday that sent him from the Maple Leafs to the Senators.
"I'm sure I'll answer a lot more [Toronto questions] throughout my time in my career," he said. "I know I played as hard as I possibly could. I worked as hard as I possibly could for that organization. I had great pride in playing there and being a Toronto Maple Leaf, but that changed. Now, I'm an Ottawa Senator and I'm proud to be an Ottawa Senator."
Phaneuf was paired with 22-year-old defenseman Cody Ceci during his first morning skate with the Senators, and Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said he'll play in all situations, including on the power play.
"I'm going to come in here and play what's asked of me and do my job. That's the bottom line," Phaneuf said. "In any profession, you have a job to do. You're asked to do that job and you do it the best you can. That's how I'm approaching it. I know they have a lot of young talent here. I'm excited to be a part of this group. I look forward to getting going tonight."
Phaneuf makes his Senators debut Wednesday night against a Red Wings team that is currently six points ahead of them in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa has won two consecutive games but still remain five points outside a playoff spot.
"I'm excited to get into this race here with this team," Phaneuf said. "I wish everyone there all the best in Toronto. Now, I'm excited about this new part of my career. I'm excited to be a part of this team and that starts tonight."
Phaneuf spent the first four-plus years of his career in Calgary before being traded to Toronto in January 2010. The three-time All-Star has 45 goals, 151 assists and is a minus-30 in his career.