Los Angeles Kings defenceman Dion Phaneuf has just one assist this season in 37 games with the Western Conference's last place club and the veteran called himself out in a recent interview with The Athletic.
“I haven’t had a very good year,” Phaneuf said. “I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t played well enough. I expect more of myself and my game.
“I’m disappointed in my year personally and I have to be better for our team.”
The 33-year-old is minus-15 this season while averaging just 14:52 of ice time, last among the Kings regular defencemen. Phaneuf told The Athletic he's been working hard and believes his play has been improving, though he's currently in the midst of a 20-game point drought.
Phaneuf has three goals and 10 points while averaging 19:28 of ice time - then a career-low - in 26 games upon joining the Kings last season after a trade from the Ottawa Senators. The Senators retained $1.75 million of Phaneuf's salary in the deal and he has two more seasons left on his contract at a cap hit of $5.25 million.
Phaneuf played in his 1,000th career NHL game in November and currently sits 18th among active players in games played. He told The Athletic he has not considered hanging up his skates.
“I always said I want to play as long as I can. As long as my body will allow me to play. Right now, you come, you do your job and no one’s happy where we’re at. No one’s happy where we’re at in the standings. I think everyone here, we had a lot higher aspirations and a lot higher expectations of ourselves as a team,” Phaneuf said.
“I don’t look too far ahead, to be honest with you. I’ve got a couple of years left on my contract and I want to play as long I can. That’s what I said.”
A first-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2003, Phaneuf has 136 goals and 489 points in 1,018 NHL games with the Kings, Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Flames.