Phaneuf responds to trade talk

He might live a Hollywood lifestyle but Dion Phaneuf says he's happy in Calgary.

And at Friday's morning skate, he dismissed any rumours floating around that he'd demanded a trade.

"I've never asked for a trade and I'm very happy here," said the 24-year-old defenceman after several reports surfaced online. "That hasn't even crossed my mind. For you to be asking these questions today, it's a huge surprise but I understand you have to report on it."

Phaneuf, who is dating Calgary-born actress Elisha Cuthbert, has been linked with a trade since he was reportedly overheard having a heated discussion with head coach Brent Sutter last month.

But Flames general manager Darryl Sutter on Thursday shot down the rumours surrounding his young defenceman.

"Whoever makes up that stuff is not doing anything," Sutter told the Herald. "We've worked really hard at building a top young defence in the league and our intention is to keep them, so that's (rumours) just from somebody who didn't have anything to do on that day.

"There are no rumours, believe me," reiterated the GM. "I don't know where that comes from."

On Friday, Phaneuf claimed he hadn't heard the rumours about a trade or him submitting a trade request.

"To be honest with you, I haven't heard anything about it until today when you brought it up to me," said Phaneuf. "Those are people sitting behind a computer and writing what they'd like to see happen with our team.

"Each and everyone has their opinion and I respect that but with regards to any talk of that, that's the first I've heard of it and I'm not going to say much about that."

Early this morning, the Flames called up Jamie Lundmark from Abbotsford to fill in for injured Craig Conroy, whom the team could re-activate on Monday according to Brent Sutter. Lundmark replaced Jason Jaffray, who was sent back to the Heat on Thursday.

Lundmark, if you recall, had joined the squad for six dates in November to take injured Rene Bourque's place. Making tonight's game, oh, about the umpteenth time he's been back.

"I don't know how many times it's been up and down but I'm definitely used to it," said Lundmark, a veteran of over 250 NHL games, 84 of which have been with Calgary. "The biggest thing is not to get away from my game, play simple. Come up here, play hard, use my skill when I can, and try and put some points on the board when I can."

Not that he's been having difficulty with point production. The Edmonton native is second in scoring with the Abbotsford Heat with nine goals, 12 assists in 32 games.

During his last stint, Lundmark was put on the top line with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen. In a short time, he made a good impression and picked up three points (including a game winner at Detroit and a shoot-out winner at Columbus) in six games.

Looks like he'll take Curtis Glencross' spot on left-wing with Iginla and Daymond Langkow tonight. And with that, here are the rest of the Flames lines:





And the defence:




Also, Curtis McElhinney will get the start tonight, likely to give Miikka Kiprusoff a night off to prepare for Saturday's game in Vancouver against their Northwest Division rivals, the Canucks.

– Morning skate report by Kristen Odland, Calgary Herald

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