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):
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.