The team is intent on moving out older players with high salaries as it rebuilds, and Phaneuf, 34, was a prime candidate for a buyout. He was set to make $5.25 million annually for the next two seasons.
The Kings will buy out Phaneuf through 2022-23, starting with a $2.1-million salary cap hit next season and $4 million in 2020-21, according to capfriendly.com.
Phaneuf gave the Kings an initial boost when he was acquired from the Ottawa Senators with Nate Thompson on Feb.13, 2018. The Kings got rid of injury-riddled Marian Gaborik in the trade and finished that regular season 15-7-3 with Phaneuf, a big-bodied, third-pairing veteran who was once a Norris Trophy finalist.