The much maligned Toronto blue-liner will be sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury sustained before the just-completed all-star break, interim Leafs head coach Peter Horachek told reporters on Monday.
The 29-year-old Phaneuf missed practice earlier in the day.
In 48 games this season, the Edmonton native has two goals and 22 points along with a minus-4 rating.
Phaneuf, who averages a team-high 23 minutes five seconds of ice time per game, has also been on the ice for 64 goals against this season, the second highest total in the NHL.
Recent trade speculation has linked the Maple Leafs captain to the Stanley Cup champion Kings, Stars and Oilers.
In December 2013, Phaneuf signed a seven-year contract extension with Toronto worth $49 million US that began this season, leading to some people believing he is untradeable.
Frustrated at the team’s play – the Leafs come out of the break having dropped nine of their past 10 games – Phaneuf was involved in a pair of fights pre-all-star break during which he may have sustained his latest injury.
First, he engaged Milan Michalek in a tussle in a Jan. 21 game after slew-footing the Ottawa Senators forward to the ice.
Two nights earlier, Phaneuf went toe-to-toe with Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.