Latest Leafs and Flames Rumors – October 2, 2013.

How much will it cost the Maple Leafs to re-sign Dion Phaneuf? Should the Leafs pick up part of John-Michael Liles contract to facilitate a trade? Which Flames could become trade bait this season?

Will the Leafs re-sign Dion Phaneuf?

Will the Leafs re-sign Dion Phaneuf?

ESPN.COM’s Pierre LeBrun yesterday tweeted the following on Dion Phaneuf: “Next up for Toronto is captain Dion Phaneuf, also UFA after season. Talks haven’t begun yet on that front but source said should begin soon.”

TSN’s Darren Dreger believes Phaneuf “will not take a dime less than 6.5 million”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their comments come following the Maple Leafs re-signing Phaneuf’s teammate Phil Kessel to an eight-year, $64 million contract.  Dreger obviously means not a dime less than $6.5 million per season, not overall. If he won’t accept less than $6.5 million per, the Leafs could offer him a shorter term.  

Doesn’t sound like something which gets resolved during this season. The Leafs could prefer waiting to see how the season plays out to judge Phaneuf’s performance.  It’s believed the Leafs want to keep Phaneuf and he wants to stay, but the club could have a tough time selling a big raise for their captain to Toronto pundits and fans.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman believes the Leafs at some point might have to ask themselves if it would be worthwhile for their cap situation to “eat” part of John-Michael Liles salary if it could facilitate a trade.  The Leafs demoted Liles, giving them only $925K of cap relief. “The thing they must be careful with is a club can only do this with three players per season”, writes Friedman. “They are now at two, taking small amounts of Ben Scrivens’s and Matt Frattin’s contracts”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs also have $2 million in dead cap space this season tied up on buyouts for Colby Armstrong and Darcy Tucker, though they’ll come off the books next season. The Leafs also cannot use a compliance buyout next June as they used up their allotment on Mikhail Grabovski and Mike Komisarek. Picking up part of Liles salary could be the only way they can free up more cap room, but it remains to be seen if they’ll go that route.

CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak believes pending UFA winger Mike Cammalleri is the biggest name to watch as a potential trade candidate for the Flames this season. Cammalleri has a limited no-trade clause and his performance this season will determine the value of the return. “The other pending UFAs are forwards Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak, Blair Jones and Tim Jackman, and defencemen Chris Butler, Kris Russell and Derek Smith”, writes Sportak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri said he’s open to re-signing, but I’m not sure he has a place in their long-term plans. He’s certainly their most valuable trade chip this season, but with his $6 million cap hit, he probably won’t get moved until the March 5 trade deadline.


  1. I know Im one of the few but 6.5 per for the cap hit, seems fare to me. Look at all the things he does for this team, look at all the statistics for defense men in which he is top 10 in hits scoring block shots mins. Guys like Dion dont grow on trees. 6.5 is good for me. He is definitely worth a million more then Streit.

    • Duh I mean fair…

    • Hahaha, I love you Leafs fans and how you are constantly trying to convince each other that your players aren’t over paid and over rated. Comparing him to Streit is a moot point, you can’t just pick and choose whatever contracts you want that that you think makes your point. I could say that there is no way in hell that Phaneuf is worth anything close to Chara’s $6.9 mill per, based on that Phaneuf is worth $4mill.

      My point is if the Leafs pay Kessel and Phaneuf a combined cap hit of $14.5 mill then they will never become a true cup contender. If you don’t believe me, the numbers don’t lie on the three recent cup champs. Chicago’s combined cap hit of Toews and Keith is only $11.8, Bergeron and Chara’s is $13.4 and Kopitar and Doughty is $13.8, and those are wayyyy better duos than Kessel and Phaneuf.

      • 4 mill you say? Ok that sounds like you really know your hockey…Towes contract was an rfa deal so once that contract is up you can bet he is going to be getting alot more money than he currently is and probably more than Phil. Phil was going to be UFA. Towes was not when he signed the deal, big difference, Im surprised one with your great understanding of how things work and comparables didnt know this. Lets look at some other comparables Timmonen 6 mil top he 10 in points hits mins? Nope. JBo at 6.8 again top 10 in anything? Nope Suters cap circumventing 12 year deal with still a 7.5 mill cap hit there is a good one and yes Streit at 5.5 since. There is no picking and choosing contracts there are better D then Dion who make approx. what he makes yes, thing is there are alot of guys who make Dion at 6.5 look like a pretty reasonable deal. Whats even funnier then Leaf fans is people like yourself who think no matter what a Leaf signs for its too much money and spout off about because they think it must mean they know what they are talking about.

        • It’s hard to argue Phaneuf has an unreasonable cap hit @ 6.5. Undoubtedly another team would be willing to pay him that, especially when you consider next summer’s UFA class (Defenseman)

          Comparisons are always tough… In my mind Suter is far and beyond a better player than Phaneuf. In my eyes Suter was robbed of the Norris last year.

          The one thing that has always been missing from Phaneuf’s game is an overall consistency. You can talk about numbers all you want but the difference between Bouwmeester, Suter and Timonen in comparison with Phaneuf – You know what you are getting on a nightly basis.

          Regardless, I’m not a Leafs fan but I’d be willing to extend him @ 6.5.
          He does a lot of things really well – I think as the Leafs D prospects mature and move up the ranks, they should take some pressure off their captain he’ll look much better.

          With Pietrangelo signing a 7 year deal at the same cap hit – Phaneuf could be in for long negotiations but the reality is, who would replace him in Toronto’s lineup?

          • Agreed Suter is a great player but lets compare the value of a 6.5 cap hit contract for 5 years is 32.5 mill (hell even max 8 is only 52 but I wouldnt give him max term) Suter 12 years @ 7.5 for 98 million Im not sure 32 or 33 mill for Dion considering that deal.

        • Schticky, noticed you avoided the Chara contract. I know more about hockey in my pinkie finger than you do in your whole body. So why don’t you move out of your mommies basement and get a grip on reality. Whether you want to admit it or not Kessel is NOT worth the contract, if he wasn’t a ONE DIMENSIONAL forward than I wouldn’t be saying this. Oh and I’m not the only one saying this, according to Pierre Lebrun most GM’s in the league believe that kind of cap hit should only be handed out to Elite Defensemen or Elite Centermen who have a two way game, which Kessel is neither.

          Enjoy mediocrity for years to come with contracts like that, just like the last half century.

          • No I didnt I said there are D Men Chara being one of them that make around what Dion makes who are better read what I said, but Dion @ 6.5 for 5 years would be a pretty reasonable deal if you look at some of the contracts which would be comparables( and your combining contracts of certain forwards and d men is ridiculious as Bergeron deal was again an rfa deal same as Doughty) and Im not arguing over Kessels contract with someone who cant see the difference in RFA and UFA and uses them as comparables.

          • If guys like Doughty Towes Bergeron are capable of getting larger type contracts from only 1 team bidding against themselves or facing the player holding out and no real risk of losing that player to another team, how much money you think they would get on the open market with a bunch of teams trying to acquire them? 2 guys who are going to be UFA at the end of the year are going to cost more than an RFA and a UFA. If you compare the 2 UFAs the Leafs were going to have to the other players that put up those type of stats they are pretty reasonable contracts.

          • Only 2 guys in top 10 in scoring the past 2 years Kessel and Stamkos….sounds elite to me, top 5 guys with ppg over the past 4years again pretty elite.

          • Sorry goals per game

          • I also believe going over 4 years for Phaneuf at a high cap hit could cause Toronto problems further down the line. Just my opinion.

        • @ Shticky

          I understand what both you and Canadian King are trying to say. Sure Phaneuf looks good compared to those contracts you listed. And sure Phanuef looks over paid compared to the contracts Canadian King listed. I’m not a Leafs fan, but I want to point out that of course, those contracts you listed are players that are over-paid (except Ryan Suter).

          When looking at Phaneuf’s new contract, there are many things to consider (and lets not get into how he could play this year because it is a contract year). Yes, he has played pretty good for Toronto. And I personally think he has more to offer and he should be re-signed. but if Darren Dredger’s prediction of 6.5/year is correct, that’s just not feasible. Let’s not compare him for the sake of this because it’s not fair to, everyone has a different alue to different teams. That’s why Chara is a bargain to Boston.

          And, to contend like Boston, Phaneuf should be a bargain for Toronto. But, this doesn’t mean Toronto should overpay on other players. In my opinion, a fair price is 4.5/season. Here’s why. Toronto’s D is pretty decent. They have Ranger, Fraser, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, and Franson. Including Phaneuf, that’s a great D. But, there needs to be time for Gardiner, and there needs to be room for Finn, Rielly, and Percy. Those 3 are studs, and come cheaper than Phaneuf. They will also be around longer. They need to play. So 4.5 doesn’t seem to bad now. 6.5 seems to be a lot. Contracts were getting to inflated. Liles was not worth what he was given. Neither was Hemsky, or any of those D you listed.

          Although both you and Canadian King make great points, the reality is this. He’ll have to play for what’s reasonable, or he’ll have to go somewhere else, where nobody will pay him 6.5 anyways (teams are all in cap crunches) – and Toronto can bring in a young stud, save the money, and allocate the rest of the cap space to other needs (if need be) or have flexibility.

          • I’m not arguing Phaneuf’s worth. I’m in position to. I’m just pointing out Toronto’s situation.

      • Shticky is one of the few leafs fans who’s comments makesense.

    • I’m torn, yes I see his positive effect, but I also see a glaring negative ones.
      Is he worth $6.5M? Probably as much as McCabe was worth $5.75 back in ’06. A good move at the time, but soured later on as his negatives started outweighing the positives.
      Personally, I (and I’m sure Carlyle as well) would prefer they trade him in order to acquire a hard-hitting stay at home d-man who can eat up minutes for lunch (Orpik?)
      There are others who can step up for his offensive contributions.
      If no trade can be had, I would give him the $6.5M but only for a year or two. No more.

  2. Jeez Calgary is really going to missing some key pieces and big name players players if they dont get all those guys locked up. How will they ever replace them? (sarcasm) Every time I see that line up all I can think is man they are in rough shape for the next couple years.

  3. Phaneuf plays big minutes in all situations. I’d be interested to know which other defencemen in the league would compare most closely with him. As for the Flames, they are headed down the Oilers’ path and not a moment too soon. Should be quite a season this year, especially in the East with Detroit and Columbus joining the fray. Every single point will count – can you say shootouts?

  4. I’d be alright with 3 years at 6.5

  5. We’re one day into the season and Sportak is already writing the flames’ season off. Not that he’s wrong it would just be nice if they got in one real game before scrapping the season.

    • Calgary has to be the consensus pick to finish 30th overall

      • Whats the over under on their “top” line getting geting 50 goals combined.

  6. I’ll pull a back checking moment: what about the Leafs not signing Dion and letting him walk UFA then turn around and sign local Toronto boy Suban to Dion money? Younger player, local boy, fan of the team growing up, age fits more in line with the team and about the only other player that Leaf nation might dream of happening after a hit off the good-o pipe even though, stranger things have happened.

    • The Habs will resign Subban for more then 6.5, and even if the Leafs did add Subban at that point (not that Dion is great in his own end) we really got some big issues in the defensive zone. Id be more open to pick up Orpik, if we let Dion walk and Orpik didnt resign. Better yet could let Dion walk trade Liles , Gardiner and or Franson, sign Subban and Orpik.

      D next year Subban Orpik Reilly Gunnarson Ranger McWilliam Percy

      *passes pipe back to Ron*

    • For one, Subban will be RFA not UFA and there is no way Montreal won’t re-sign him. For two, I can’t stand the guy, so not having him on the leafs wouldn’t hurt my feelings any.

  7. I don’t see the leafs offering Dion any more than 6 per season, and if they could get an even further hometown discount it would be nice. The problem with most Dion haters is that they don’t take into consideration his whole body of work, they just concentrate on his mistakes. Could he be better defensively, of course, but so to could Karlsson, Letang, Green, Byfuglien, Campbell, Subban, etc, etc, etc. The most prolific scoring defenseman in history was a terrible defensive d-man but you didn’t here him getting ripped a new one every time he made a mistake. But I guess its okay when your winning 8-5 every night.

    • Phaneuf currently makes 5.5 million. His cap hit is 6.5 million because the deal was front loaded to (gasp) circumvent the cap. If we could get Phaneuf at 7 or 8 years @ 6 million/year I would be happy. Perhaps most Leaf fans would be ok with that as well. 8 for Kessel, 6 for Phaneuf. As for Subban, if he wins the Norris (or finishes in the final voting for it) you will not get him for less than Letang. Expect to pay 7+ million for him.

  8. Seriously, its time for Dion to walk into ufa, or lets trade him. He is to slow, makes dumb plays. yess he has a rocket but when does he hit the net 10 percent of the time?? i am a huge leafs fan, and if you actually watch every game like i do, he is just not worth that kind of money. we need to lock up franson.