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)

Leafs sign Phaneuf to seven-year extension


As expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their captain, defenseman Dion Phaneuf, have come together on a seven-year contract extension that’s worth a reported $49 million.

To commemorate the moment, here’s…this:


That, of course, is Leafs general manager Dave Nonis shaking hands with Phaneuf.

“Dion is our team leader and has been a pillar in our building process,” said Nonis in a release. “He has proven to be a very durable and reliable defenseman in all facets of the game. He plays big minutes in every situation for us and we’re pleased to have him under contract for the next seven seasons.”

“This is a very proud day for me and my family,” said Phaneuf. “I’m very honored to be the captain of this historic franchise and to maintain the opportunity to play and represent the Toronto Maple Leafs for many years to come. We have passionate fans and a dedicated ownership group. I have great teammates and look forward to growing with them and achieving our goal of winning.”

Phaneuf, 28, is now under contract through 2020-21. He joins other Leafs signed to long-term deals, including Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, David Clarkson, James van Riemsdyk, and Tyler Bozak.

Phaneuf and Nonis will speak to the media at 1:30 pm ET to discuss the deal.

Per CapGeek, here are the top 10 cap hits for NHL defensemen (Phaneuf’s cap hit will be $7 million starting next season):


It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.