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Report: Phaneuf extension might be imminent

Dec 24, 2013, 4:02 PM EDT

TORONTO, ON - DECEMEBER 19: Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a faceoff against the Phoenix Coyotes during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 19, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

In the lead up to the 2013-14 campaign, the big question surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs’ future was the fate of star forward Phil Kessel and captain Dion Phaneuf. Both have played key roles on the team and were scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this summer.

Kessel wasted no time killing the speculation about him by inking an eight-year, $64 million extension on Oct. 1. Now, Phaneuf might follow suit by signing a new contract before the end of the year, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

It remains to be seen what the terms will be, if the deal gets done at all, but TSN’s Darren Dreger suggested in October that the 28-year-old defenseman will not settle for less than $6.5 million annually. In other words, he won’t accept less than the average annual value of his expiring six-year, $39 million contract.

Phaneuf led the Maple Leafs in total ice time in each of the previous two campaigns and barring an injury he will almost certainly do so again this season. He’s a physical blueliner that also can make significant contributions offensively, although he’s producing below his normal pace with 13 points in 37 contests going into the Christmas break.

Toronto has about $43.1 million in cap space committed to 12 players for the 2014-15 campaign, according to Cap Geek, which puts them in a comfortable position when it comes to handling Phaneuf a big contract.

  1. sportsfan69 - Dec 24, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    An extension is in order. Very well deserving. At least, he’ll earn his salary unlike a goaltender in New York.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      LOL

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Say what you want about Phaneuf, but he’s out there every night playing big minutes against the best players in the game. He’s earned whatever he ends up getting.

  3. rushledger - Dec 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    6.5 would be a fair contract for both sides.

    • desertfan - Dec 26, 2013 at 3:56 AM

      $7M x 6 years would be a RIGHT deal.

      Term is really important in these deals.

      8 years i stop long.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      The rest of the league will be highly amused if he ends up with that contract.

  4. skr213 - Dec 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Good lord, you TO fans can be so deluded some times.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 24, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      So you think if he hit free agency not one decent team in the league would spend that kind of money for him?

      • skr213 - Dec 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        Who cares how much the Oilers or Panthers will pay for him? If that’s how TO front office negotiates, then I feel sorry for you guys. Here’s how the negotiation should go – “you’re playing for one of the biggest teams in the league with the biggest fan base, you’re captain of a team that is starting to make progress, if you demand a huge contract, that means there will be less money to build a great team, we need that money in order to take this team to the next level. So we’re going to offer you $5mil a year. P.S. you’re vastly overrated and the only teams that will pay what you’re looking for are teams that suck. So if you want to doom yourself to never playing for a contender, then go right ahead.”

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 24, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        They have most of their core locked up, they don’t need to spend ton of money after this deal gets done. Just adding a couple of pieces while the young guys develop and gel should be all it takes.

      • skr213 - Dec 24, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        yeah, great core. (sarcasm)

      • withseidelinn - Dec 25, 2013 at 2:35 AM

        skr213, you are stupid.

      • skr213 - Dec 25, 2013 at 2:49 AM

        I’m stupid? You think the Leafs don’t need to spend more to get better players and I’m the one that’s stupid? Make the playoffs some year and get back to me.

  5. lowenni - Dec 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I think after being called overrated so long people now think he sucks and he’s now a little bit underrated.

    • skr213 - Dec 24, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      He’s wearing a C. He’s still overrated.

  6. Stiller43 - Dec 24, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Overpaid. Nowhere near the best defenseman in the league

  7. gandallk - Dec 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Doesn’t deserve it.

  8. ethanmacleod1685 - Dec 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    5.5 million sounds about right

  9. sportsfan69 - Dec 24, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Phaneuf is worth 6 – 6.5 million per year if you compare him to Lundqvist’s 8.5 million per year, which is a huge rip off to the NY Rangers fans, for the next SEVEN YEARS.

    • withseidelinn - Dec 25, 2013 at 2:37 AM

      Kind of hard to compare since one guy is a goaltender…………..

  10. beergold - Dec 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Under the Kessel and Neon “franchise brand” the Leafs are doomed to much much more non contender status.

    I tell my grandson I watched the Leafs last win a Cup in 67 and all the pride and the great Leaf players….he asked if he will see a Leaf Cup and I change the subject and tell him time to sleep little man Santa is coming to see you tonight! Sweet dreams!.

  11. devilsarethebest - Dec 24, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    I think he’l get a max deal, the fans in Toronto like him and he likes being there. But they’re going to give him a blank check, which is a mistake. Also just to point out, based on 24/7, he lives more lavishly than most other players, so I guess he need the big bucks.

  12. davego6 - Dec 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Vastly overrated. He needs to be taken out to the barn, where Wendel will show him what is really expected of a Captain. 4.5 mil tops per year.

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