It appears the rumours of Dion Phaneuf's trade request have been greatly exaggerated.
When the Calgary Flames' blueliner was asked about the rumour by reporters after practice on Friday, Phaneuf made his feelings perfectly clear.
"I have never asked for a trade and I'm very happy here," Phaneuf told reporters. "That hasn't even crossed my mind so for you to be asking me these questions today, it's a huge surprise."
Phaneuf has struggled this season with just 18 points in 43 games and is now dealing with the disappointment of being left off Canada's Olympic team last week. Earlier in the season, Phaneuf and head coach Brent Sutter reportedly had a heated argument that was overheard by the media, leading to speculation the defenceman wanted out.
When Phaneuf was told the rumour was found on a blog with no quotes from him, the Edmonton native downplayed the credibility of the report.
''Those are people sitting behind a computer and writing what they'd like to see happen with our team,'' Phaneuf added. ''Each and everyone has their opinion and I respect that but with regards to any talk of (a trade request), this is the first I've heard of it.''
Flames' general manager Darryl Sutter admitted there is a lot of interest in his defence corps from other teams but he has no plans to move Phaneuf.
''We get calls about our defencemen,'' Sutter told ESPN.com on Thursday. ''Teams think that we have seven or eight guys that are playing good and they think you have one available. But there isn't one [available].''
As for the complaints Sutter hears about Phaneuf's play, his response is a compelling one.
"I say, 'Take him out of the lineup and see how much you like it,'" Sutter told ESPN.com.