Latest on the Maple Leafs – August 17, 2013.

Are the Maple Leafs any closer to re-signing Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson? Does Dion Phaneuf have a long-term future with the Leafs?

Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis expects to get Nazem Kadri & Cody Franson under contract with his remaining cap space.

Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis expects to get Nazem Kadri & Cody Franson under contract with his remaining cap space.

NHL.COM: Dan Rosen reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis believes he has enough cap space to re-sign Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson and that’s what he intends to do.

Nonis also said he’s had no contract extension talks with team captain Dion Phaneuf because “we’ve been focusing on other issues right now”, but added Phaneuf was “a core part of our team” and “there’s no reason to think he won’t be here for the long run.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per CapGeek, the Leafs currently have around $4.895 million in cap space for the upcoming season, so obviously Nonis believes he’ll get Kadri and Franson under contract for around  a combined$4 million in order to leave some wiggle room under the cap to open the season. Nonis currently has all the leverage, as Kadri’s coming off an entry-level deal, while Franson opted not to file for arbitration.

Their only option is to hold out, though such moves are rarely successful. Of the duo, Franson seems the most likely to be dealt if he and the Leafs fail to reach an agreement. Nonis could wait and see how his defense performs without Franson during training camp and preseason before putting him on the trade block.

As for Phaneuf, Nonis will likely evaluate his captain’s performance over the course of the season before engaging in contract talks. I’d expect Nonis could offer Phaneuf a multi-year deal, but for less money than what he made on his current contract.

Phaneuf is eligible for UFA status next summer at a time when the salary cap is bound to go up, meaning more big market clubs will be interested in his services (hello there, Philadelphia Flyers) and could be willing to pay him as much, or maybe even more, than his current deal, especially if he plays well in his contract year. If the Leafs are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline in March, it wouldn’t surprise me if they put Phaneuf on the block.


  1. OHHHHHHHHHH BOY…… leaf talk today ! Look out !

    Why did the Leafs sign T.J . Brennan ???
    They have Finn… Blacker… Holzer.. Fraser.. Reily ….Ranger… Liles…Granberg … Percey …Gysbergs and the list goes on ….

    All this talk about Dion, Nonis stating that Dion isn’t going anywhere means that they tried to trade him and there were no takers and hes our Captain and a valuable asset to our ….BLLAAAAHAAA …SURE!!!!

    They have to let him walk at seasons end …its simple they just need that money elsewhere instead of $6 – 8 million in one player especially if they have to sign Kessel to an extension …..its going to be tough to just not get anything in return …but the money left over will be the bonus ! …..So Dion walks as a UFA or gets moved as a rental if there are ANY takers… ( unlikely ) !!

    The only way to move Dion is to sweeten the deal by adding in a quality 1A or 1B prospect or NHL player along with him to create interest !

    If the Leafs are looking to maximize on the power play and goal scoring they need to get Dion off the power play and keep Franson on as the point shot as Dion can not hit the net for the rebound and always overshoots and creates odd man rushes due to his inaccuracy !!

    Get him OFF the power play and save hime for the defensive side of the puck so you dont wear him out like they did in game 7 against Boston as he was completely useless in the last 15 minutes and in overtime !!

    • If they move Dion it will be at the trade deadline and they will get probably some nice pieces for him….there will be teams bidding on him there will be no throwing prospects in to get rid of him give your head a shake.

      • Dion had a better shooting percentage then Franson btw….


          Phaneuf can’t hit the broad sign of a barn watch the games man ….Dion rarely ever hits the net from the point ALWAYS goes over the net and never another rebound chance for scoring opportunity , hits glass bounces back to forward on an odd man rush !! ALWAYS

          • Bc Phaneuf last year was in the top 10 for D men with points was third for goals and had the second highest shooting percentage of the top 10 at over 10% twice what Franson was at 5 sure sounds like a guy who cant hit the net.

        • Dion haters will always remember the bad things and never give credit where credit is due. They don’t look at stats they just have a hate on and won’t change their minds no matter what so save your breath and typing fingers.

        • the thing about dion’s shooting percentage is that it’s goals divided by shots on net… which he has a high percentage of. but shots on net divided by shots attempted is friggin brutal. his slapshots that miss the net and go all the way down to the leafs end is higher than his shots on net.
          franson has a more deadlier weapon because he hits the net far more often, and his power isn’t any less.

          • Ask Lupul what he thinks of Dion’s shooting acuracy

          • This is ridiculous show me the stat that says 89 -90 times Dion shot the puck it went off the boards and ended up in the leaf end…jessh

          • Sog Franson 70 with 4 goals 5.7%

            Sog Phaneuf 88 with 9 goals 10.2%

            Explain again how Franson hits the net more then Phaneuf….

          • Ya…I tend to prefer Franson and Gardiner at the point over Dion. Not a knock on Phaneuf just think these two could be superior on the PP if given significant minutes.

          • Exactly Rob! Dion might score 10% of the time but a big chunk of that 90% of the time he is missing the net and not even creating an offensive rebound, whereas Franson almost always hits the net, who cares if it goes in. Its about creating scoring opportunities from defense.

            Also Phaneuf points come from his massive amounts of ice time. Whereas Franson was just a productive with I imagine around 10 less minutes a game.

          • Does no one look at stars anymore? Honestly

          • *stats

          • watch the game schtiky… watch the game…

          • Quit listening to Glen Healy and watch more then HNIC Rob

          • Go to a game or 2

      • shticky guy I haven’t disagreed with you for awhile, but if Nonis traded Phaneuf it would have to be between now and the first few weeks of the season not around the trade deadline. Nonis would be an idiot to trade Phaneuf at the deadline. When you guys are just in the midst of playoffs? No way. Only way Phaneuf leaves that late in a season is if you guys are out of playoff contention and or are getting something similar in return.

        • I doubt Dion gets moved period maybe but thats a slight maybe we get something very similar in return that is maybe a little cheaper then Dion now, so ya we do agree. The only way I see Dion going anywhere otherwise is if we are not in the race at the deadline. If the Leafs are out of it by then Dion will go as a rental for a package of picks and prospects otherwise I think they keep him. It defenately wont be like bc mentioned us throwing prospects in to trade Phaneuf away

          • If the cap goes up like most think it will to around 70 mill the Leafs might have enough to extend both Kessel and Dion as long as Dion dosent think he is getting a big raise.

          • I don’t think he gets moved either. They tried with all their might… and the rest of the league just ain’t bitin.

          • mean a raise. He’ll get less than 5.5

          • I’m fine with re-signing Phaneuf to a more reasonable amount. Problem I have is I suspect he’s not the right player to caption the team. So how do you re-sign the guy for less and ask him to relinquish the “C”.

            Tough to do…

      • Agree…if Dion gets moved it’ll be at the trade deadline and no they won’t have to throw in prospects. By the trade deadline his cap hit will be low and this is the last year of his deal. If the Leafs are in playoff contention Nonis will have to make the call on going into the playoffs down a veteran defenseman or risk losing him for nothing.

        Leafs have many young defensemen in their system and will need money to re-sign Kessel not to mention others such as Kadri (assuming he takes a bridge contract) and continues to grow into an elite level player. Bolland I believe will be in the last year of his contract but not positive on that. In a cap system GM’s have to decide you to build around and go from there.

        • Agreed with all the comments. I have stated a number of times they should move Dion. My reasoning is simple. They won’t strip him of the captaincy…they will trade him. I can’t see them giving it to someone else when he is still on the team

  2. I completely agree that Philadelphia is a likley landing spot for Phaneuf, barring Holmgren being fired and replaced with a more level headed GM(Hextall), Phaneuf is the type of player Homer would covet. Phaneuf has his flaws for sure, most glaringly is bad hockey IQ, making bad decisions at what seem like the worst times, but he still has all the raw tools of a good defensemen, Great hitter, great shot, good offensive instincts. If he can learn to be a little more humble when he doesn’t have the puck and stay in position, then he would be a top 10 D-man for sure. If he does walk, I see him signing in Philly for 5yrs same money.

  3. Wow.

    Can I remind you out of your list of dmen above very few have NHL experience. Brennan was a highly rated prospect not long ago and is worth the risk.
    As for Dion he may be over priced in the eyes of some but he puts in hard minutes every night. Who would you replace him with on the PP ? Would like to see your defensive pairings for PP 1 and 2.

    • Agreed on all of this…. Brennan was a very good pick up

      • I love how people point out Dion in game 7 then say what a hero Franson was he got 2 goals yes but was directly responsible for 2 ( the first 1 with the blind between the leg pass in his own end in to the slot for a beauty goal by the Bruins D, very well could have been the worst flub of anyone in the playoffs on any team) and was on the ice for all of Bostons goals. A minus 2 when you score twice is not a good thing!

        • Sorry 4 out of 5 goals Franson was on the ice for I should give him some credit I guess, that dirt bag Dion nearly played half the game was only on the ice for 3 the bum.

        • Watch the game over again !!!

          Dion was overplayed and over exposed when it was crunch time especially on the last two goals with Chiara infront Dion was like a pee wee player never even touched him NO HOT HOCKEY …yeah great look for players like DaCosta a rookie with his head down up the middle but let Chiara sit on your goalie unmolested with 5 minutes left up 1 goal in game 7

          give me a break !!!
          Dion is a minute eater that has NO DEFENSIVE upside at all very poor skater and stick handler for his pay and does not have the cerebral appt to play offensive hockey either !!

          • I cant even understand what youre saying here, but again Im sure its jibberish…

          • This to me is the general opinion of Dion across the league.

            Which is why moving him is next to impossible with his contract.

          • @Gary regardless of the player, guys who make north of 6 million bucks are going to be tough to move unless its a Crosby Malkin type guy even then depending on the assets coming in return it would be difficult. I believe that yes Dion is a touch over paid but when or if he goes UFA I agree with Lyle someone will offer him as much if not more like the Flyers. Just because haven’t traded a guy doesn’t mean no one is interested in him or that no one could possibly afford him. Again Dion was in the top 20 in most stats for a defenceman, yes he makes some mistakes they all do.

          • BC is spot on

        • i don’t think you can judge either defensemen on their worth based on that series alone.

      • Shticky – I like T.J. Brennan, but I am at a loss as the Sabres traded him for a 5th round pick, where he was reunited with Kevin Deneen who coached Brennan in Rochester and knew him as a player. My understanding of the trade was to give him the opportunity to get more ice time. Played 19 games with the Panthers and then was traded to Nashville who just released him. Now he signs with Toronto – so I guess my question is….why do 2 other teams let him walk? So it just makes me wonder.

        • I just think for a guy you can bury if needed with no cap hit, that could potentially have some upside and fit pretty easily as a 7th D and only signed for a year, why not ? good depth isn’t a problem. If it was a contract for a longer term or that you couldn’t easily bury I might have more of a problem with it. Sometimes get let go for nothing look at Franson he was more or less a freebie too.

          • I just hope he dosent have too good of a season otherwise all these other leaf fans that scream and complain about Dions and Liles bad contracts will be saying we should give him 3.5 or 4million bucks the same way they do with Franson… smh

      • Tanev would have been a good pick up Brennan is a wing and a prayer !!


        • Tanev is an RFA . TJ was a UFA. so really its only costing money to play in minors

    • yuppers brennan is worth the risk. only reason we got rid of him is because of the log jam we have on defense

  4. Cant see both them signing for 2 mill but Dave does have a tone of leverage, with Franson he has 3 or 4 guys now with Brennan that could play that type of role and 1 of them in Ranger is better defensively, Kadri has only 1 very short season in the league so sitting out could absolutely be a huge set back. If Nonis gets both these guys in under the cap (I cant see it with Franson) it will have been a very good off season.

    • It sounds like he intends on using a bridge deal like the one sign by Subban to force Kadri in under the cap.

      He better be careful, any team with a bit of cap space may use the offer sheet to grab him away. A 3 year deal @ $3.5 totally screws Toronto and costs very little in compensation.

      • Ok, maybe at $3 million as it costs only a 2nd

        • Im pretty sure the kadri deal would be done first to try an avoid offer sheets on him that wouldn’t result in at least a first round pick otherwise matched so 3.5 or higher. Problem tho is inking Kadri to say around 2.25 and someone offering Franson 3 Im not sure he is worth a first round pick but has more value then just a second imo. I would rather find a trade for him.

          • Have you talked to Kadri lately sounds like your buddy buddy !!

      • In regards to offer sheets, please remember two things… One, most GMs will not hit a RFA with offer sheets because GMs have to deal with one another and poaching kinda kills these relationships amongst your peers and second, said player who receives an offer sheet must be willing to sign… Meaning unless a player is unhappy and wants out, there isn’t much use offering them to move when they most likely won’t want to.

        • Very true, also there is compensation involved so unless you think you are getting a true superstar like the Flyers did with Webber, GMs got to consider the cost it could have on their future, to get Franson or Kadri (Kadri in all likelyhood would be matched) you would probably be looking at 4mill plus long term, not sure many GMs would be willing to give up a first and a third round pick possibly more to trade for Franson after 1 decent shortened season. When you might be able to pick him up for less if you just offered a trade. Especially with the teams that could have the cap space to put together the offer sheet, those could be very high picks. Calgary, Colarado, New Jersey, etc with the exception of the Islanders their pick would be a later one but again they have some very nice prospects that could probably be done in a 1 for 1 deal with out ruffeling any feathers or costing 2 future picks ie. Brock Nelson or Anders Lee.

    • Are the Leafs in position to send a few contracts to the minors with little or no penalty? This could be Nonis’s plan to free up a little more cap space to sign Kardi to a one year bridge deal and Franson.

      • Kadri… not Kardi

        • Holzer will likely go down as he is #7 signed and only makes just under $800k. Trevor Smith is currently listed on their pro cap hit at $550k. With Kadri and Franson signed that would give them 21 players. 12 Forwards 7 D and the two goalies. They will likely have to run with a roster short of a couple extras unless they can move Liles out.

          • Que the screaming… my preference would be to trade Liles and Franson, open some cap room for a stay at home physical d like Fistric, possibly Hainsey.

          • Plus also may get a decent center prospect for Franson. 2 areas of need way more then puck moving D men.

        • They need at least 20 players on the team and most likely 23. Sending a few low paid guys down barely makes a dent and leaves you lean when injuries occur.

  5. I doubt Nonis will have much luck in moving Liles right now, maybe during training camp when other teams see a need for a puck mover. If they can’t move Liles trading Kulemin might make more sense. I don’t think they really want to as he is good defensively. D Amigo is suppose to be pretty close and could fill the gap thus saving the leafs about 1.7 mil. It would go a long ways to getting both Kadri and Franson signed. Big gamble though. Nonis is a smart dude, he will figure it out.

  6. I would laugh if someone like the Isles threw an offer sheet at Kadri $5M and Franson $4.5M @ four years. Then what would Nonis’s plan be?

    • Correct that… Franson gets thrown an offer sheet first for $4M @ 4yr and if the Leafs match then throw an offer sheet at Kadri on the day they match the Franson deal for the same $4M @ 4 years. After looking at the compensation this would be the smartest way.

      • 1 they would take the picks for Franson Im sure…duh and probably match for Kadri

  7. How is it that this site goes from great conversation, a little debate here and there, and hockey talk to an all out war and pointless to read thread every time Backchecking comes back around? Seriously dude, your hate is toxic and your negative attitude and must be right about everything is just annoying and you can see that you antagonize most people.

    In other news.

    Dion will be locked up long term and he should be. Dion is a solid defenseman, he is not a joke like most people seem to think he is or who base it off only a game or two. Guy has been solid for Toronto and has never had any actual good pair D-man and so he is always overplaying trying to help his partner … or in the recent years that Toronto has had no forwards who back check and terrible puck possession. But like normal everyone just finds one scape goat in Toronto.

    Franson & Kadri will both be signed, likely to bridge contracts. Leafs have lots of send down candidates on their team to clear an extra couple hundred thousand in cap space to give more breathing room. I’d guess Kadri 2y $6 million (3m/y) Franson 1y $2m contract with a demotion taking place, or a much more minor trade. The thing that is hurting the Leafs the most is still having the buyouts of Armstrong & Tucker on their hit and the retained salary of Frattin & Scrivens. If they didn’t have those they would have an addition $2.5 million in cap space to work with.

    • All very good points

      • Very good points? You would loose your mind if they signed Kadri $6M… duh seriously???

        • 3 mill a year duh second line center bridge deal….

    • I agree it’s more likely Nonis will sign the RFA’s to bridge deals. They play well and get rewarded on their next deals…simple as that.

      Dion getting extended…that I’m less sure of for numerous reasons. What would Dion want? Leafs have a significant # of defensemen in their system. Is Phaneuf the right person to captain this Leafs team?

      It will be interesting…

  8. Anyway as JJB said we can go a week or so here with good conversation and some civil debate then 3 guys show up and start talking out their butts and degrading people so as to not fall in to a pissing match Im just going to try and keep my mouth closed. It sucks to be associated with some of the other Leaf fans.

    • I feel your pain Shticky, except for me it’s Flames fans who actually think Jay Feaster is good GM

  9. I think someone did something to BCs cereal today/

  10. I think there is still a chance phaneuf is gone by Christmas… It means alot working out for some players but its not a far fetch…. Franson has to resign and play like a top 4, Gardiner has to keep progressing I think he finished extremely well in the playoffs and if he can build on that could pair nicley with franson. Now here’s the long shot on of Percy, Reilly, blacker or granberg has to step up. If they do phaneuf becomes expendable especially if the return is a group of young prospect forwards and picks. At this point in time gunnerson has also become expendable in the next year or 2 as is of course Liles.

  11. Phaenuf has good offensive value, and defensively if kept under 23mins he doesn’t makes fatigue inspired bad decisions that even fans cringe at.

    My dream would be to see him and Reimer moved to EDM for a good return, win-win for both. It’s a dream probably but it seems like a potential fit, and good for all parties.

  12. I think Seidenberg is a great dman, one of the most under rated or under appreciated guys in the league, dosent get the recognition he deserves. The Bruins would be foolish to let him go imo.

    • Girardi would be my 1st choice.