Entering the final season of a six-year, $39 million contract and in the middle of Canada's national men's team orientation camp, the Maple Leafs captain has plenty of distractions but he insists his sole focus is the start to the season in Toronto.
"We added some guys that have a lot of experience, some veteran guys that are really going to help our team," he said Monday. "I'm excited about training camp as is every guy starting a new year but I'm looking forward to getting back and getting started."
And if he and the Maple Leafs are able to put together a strong start, Phaneuf understands his chances of making Canada's Olympic team increase.
"You've got to start well because the guys that are playing the best at that point in time in the season are the guys that are going to be going over," he said of making the team that will go to Sochi, Russia. "Right now, my focus is starting well but you've got to be focused on your team first and foremost and play your game and give yourself the best opportunity by playing well."
Phaneuf isn't concerned about contract talk interfering with his on-ice production.
"The contract stuff, there's going to be lots of talk about it," he said, "but that's the business of this game and the business stuff will take care of itself."