NHL Morning Rumor Mill – November 1, 2013.

Some advice for Leafs management in their negotiations with Dion Phaneuf and more.

Should the Maple Leafs hurry to get Dion Phaneuf re-signed?

Should the Maple Leafs hurry to get Dion Phaneuf re-signed?

SPORTSNET.CA: Gord Stellick advised Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis to avoid rushing into getting a new contract in place for captain Dion Phaneuf, suggesting there’s plenty of time throughout the season and even into the off-season to get Phaneuf re-signed. Stellick reminds us of the haste of previous Leafs management in signing blueliner John-Michael Liles and former Leafs defensemen Jeff Finger, Mike Komisarek and Bryan McCabe to expensive deals which eventually became burdensome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair point by Stellick, though as his colleague Nick Kypreos recently noted, Phaneuf since 2005-06 ranks among the league leaders in several categories for defencemen (goals, points, PPG, games-played and ice time), plus he’s also the Leafs captain. Those factors carry considerably more weight than those which went into signing those busts Stellick noted. Unless the Phaneuf camp starts putting pressure on Nonis, I agree with Stellick the Leafs GM should take his time working out a new deal.

Ultimately, I believe Phaneuf gets a seven-year deal worth an average cap hit of $7  million per season, because he’s too valuable to the Leafs and there’s no one within their system, via trade or next summer’s UFA market to replace him. 

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports a few teams are watching New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. “He’s unrestricted after the season, and a greatly improved player.”…Friedman also wondered if the Islanders make Thomas Vanek a big offer to re-sign with them…The Boston Bruins don’t intend to upgrade their blueline depth for now, preferring to stick with Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton…


  1. Gahh Im a Dion supporter and think he has actually developed pretty well in to a good d man and yes is probably a pretty good leader for this team but 7 for 7? Ehh not so sure I like that so much. Id be alright if it was 5 years with some kind of partial ntc but with a term of 7-8 years I think the Leafs should seek a substantial home town discount for that type contract 6-6.5.

  2. I agree Phaneuf should be a wait and see signing. With Morgan Reilly sticking, if he continues his development and if Gardiner can figure it out the Leafs could be in a bad postion 2-3 years from now paying Phaneuf $7 mil to be the team’s 4th best D-man behind Fransom, Reilly and Gardiner.

    I’d send him to Winnipeg for Clitsome, Brenden Kichton and a 3rd round pick then send Kulemin to LA for Alec Martinez.

    • But those teams wouldn’t do those trades.

      Wanting to send guys packing is one thing, but that would be a horrible, setting the franchise back kind of deal. They have Buff, they don’t need Dion coughing up the puck.

      I don’t see a home town discount here at all. I see Dion wanting a contract to carry him through, I don’t personally think he is worth 7 million, but I also don’t think Kessel is worth 8 million.

      • It doesnt matter what the player is worth or the market value …it boils down to what amount of money you are left with after these type of signings and what can you do with that to keep a quality team in play …thats why you cant give Dion the $7-$8 million …Nonis needs it elsewhere over the long term on multiple players not just 1 D man that is suspect right now ….Nonis will let him go at UFA and hope to replace him with a quality trade asset for asset ….Dion not being part of the deal !!

        Leafs still have to sign Reimer Bernier and Raymond …Bolland and possibly a few others to keep the TRUE guts of this team intact longer term to win a cup …Nonis NEEDS That $7 million elsewhere not in one D man right now of Dions caliber …Weber Caliber YES …OLiver Ekman Larson.. yes …Jharlmarson ..yes ..Subban ..yes …NOT DION !

        • 1 Bernier is signed for 2 years why not wait for …oh a year or so see how he plays or even if you are even keeping him for sure before you start worrying about his next contract…2 who do you replace Dion with that is capable of playing top minutes thats not a complete defensive liability playing top lines, Franson? Gardiner? Looking elsewhere Orpik could be an option but is probably only going to be marginally cheaper as a UFA and then there is the fact what if he doesn’t really want to play in Toronto? (not like thats unusual) and finally look at the amount of teams that could be looking for a top 2 type d guy how easy do you think it would be to swing a deal for that type of player via trade?….just short of impossible with out stripping all these assets you talk of resigning to big money when you let Dion walk away….ridiculous

          • I agree 100% Shticky. Letting Dion walk is a huge mistake. He eats big minutes, plays against other teams top lines, #1 PP, #1 PK, and has improved under Carlye. He has made mistakes, absolutely; but they are far less than they were 2 years ago. Realistically if it is $6 or $7 million, who cares? You cannot replace him on the market as 50% of the teams in the league are looking for a guy like this. The team has come together nicely under Carlye, what we need is stability of our core group to maintain success. This is not the year to blow things up. Wake up clowns.

          • Agreed. Though I think they should package Gardiner plus for a number one center. How many times have we heard that on this site….thank god I’m original

  3. 6yrs for the same money or walk i mean we already give up the mos shots whats the diff if we dont have him besides franson is much better and the same type of player

    • He may be slightly better than Dion is offensively but that’s it. Dion has become better defensively, he is a way better leader, and Phaneuf knows how to play a physical game as well. I like Franson but don’t confuse the two.,

    • Not even close.

  4. Trade him for a true & tried shutdown D man, they have far too many offensive minded D men, including Phaneuf

  5. Not a Dion hater ….

    BUT….when the value and term come into play and the scenario of OTHER players you have to sign and now with Kessels deal money starts to get thin as the years move on ….what happens if Leivo , Gardiner , Rielly …Kadri, Bolland or someone else becomes a star in 2- 3 where as they are so crucial to the team but you cant sign the majority or at least 3 of those guys becuase you gave $7 million to Dion who IMO is totally replaceable with another player over time …Dion is not that crucial to the powerplay …penalty kill and just because he has good stamoina and plays lots of minutes doenst mean those are quality and effective minutes …just minutes !!

    In the end my mind goes back to his poor play defensively in the last 10 minutes of play against Boston and in the end I think thats what you will get in the long term ….and the short term is not worth the money and the loss of other players …let him go to UFA and look to replace him for less money and a veteran guy ….let go of Ranger next year and trade Gunnarson bring up Mc Williams keep Reilly and look to flip Gardiner for a top 2 shut down guy with size and a mean streak !

    • Bottom line: There is no top 2 defenseman in the league available for trade. There is no top 2 defenseman like Phaneuf in the Leafs system ready to take over. Moving forward it is best to have Phaneuf on the top line with Gunnar and Rielly on the second pair with a solid partner like Girardi or Klein.
      My offer to Phaneuf: 8 years 50 million.
      5 years at 7 million/year, 3 years at 5 million/year.
      Cap hit = 6.25 over 8 years. Cap hit is more important than yearly salary.

      • @ Kurt …I respectfully disagree that there is no one available …the trade phones are on fire right now and the right deal or aquisition can be had IMO .

        It may not be right now but come trade deadline and into free agency for next year that is a HUGE possibility ….

        • No team would ever deal a top two D-Man on their team, cause those don’t grow on trees

          • WOW …talking in infinity is absolutely wrong …..NEVER is always a possibility with a right deal …there are a lot of teams that will be below there expectations VERY SOON and will be looking to make a move even if its a lateral move just to do so ….you will see !!!!
            It will happen …as teams need to address other areas of disappointment ….in the NHL to make a quality trade you have to give up something to get something ..very rarely is a trade one sided in talent …teams have NEEDS and more than one as well as money issues ….( cap ) a team with that need can spare a quality #2 D man to vastly improve elsewhere if need be …..NEVER is NEVER teams are talking all the time about this
            A quality D man of size and skill and youth that IMO could be had right now with the right deal would be Tyler Myers in Buffalo ..

          • Tyler Myers???? This just gets better and better lets replace Phaneuf with Myers…. jeeez man do you see the stuff you write?

    • Last 10 mins against Boston? You bash him for that loss? Franson was directly responsible for 2 of those goals and was on the ice for 4 of em but ya it was Phaneufs fault…lol

      • You should watch the the 3rd period over again !! Phaneuf was a JOKE infront of the net for all 3 3rd period goals …thats not what you pay ($7million a year ) for a shut down D man for ) ….PLEASE! …My point was rather generic with Myers and if I had to have either one Id go for Myers just for his net presence alone and yes he can contribute and for less money and equal quality play all around …I do stand by that yes !

        • Phaneuf +10 with 7 points 24 mins a night against top lines near the top of most stats as a dman the past 4 years….Tyler Myers -8 3 points, yep seems like a good idea. Net presence I can see that lol

        • Phaneuf was on the ice for 3 goals…he was minus 2 with 1 point Franson was minus 2 with 2 goals therefore was on the ice for 4 goals against was on the ice for less time than Dion but more goals against, yes he had a couple goals, but his give aways directly (he could have been credited with an assist on Bartowskis goal) cost 2 goals, the 1 in the first period might have been the worst of any in any playoff game last year. So again how is it anymore Dions fault than Fransons? He played more time against better players and was on the ice for less goals against than Franson. The last 10 mins was a complete melt down no one looked good Kadri Kessel Reimer Franson Dion,… none of them!…..Should we replace the whole team because of 10 mins in a game? Wake up.

  6. Losers! Get a girlfriend…….

    • Hardly hypocritical….

  7. Phaneuf will be 29 when a new contract kicks in. Do the leafs think he will be the same d-man in say 4 or 5 years? Will his skills be diminished or will he ease into those years as a steady mature d-man? If I were Nonis I would have a tough time signing him to anything longer than 5 years and for a rate anything higher than he makes right now. dion is making things a little difficult as he is playing more steady now than he has in the last couple of years. Its nice not having to here all those Dion haters whine constantly. Of course if the leafs start to lose it will all be Dions fault.
    Nonis also has the option of trading Phaneuf and as mentioned could get a more steady defensive type guy in return but just who do you think they could acquire. The fact that he is aUFA next summer reduces the amount the leafs could get for him unless a trade and sign deal occurs but those are few and far between. A young Brooks Orpik type would be ideal but how many GM’s will part with a guy like that.
    Here’s a proposal although the chances of it happening are remote:

    To the leafs: Shea Weber(very expensive contract), Hornqvist

    To the Predators: Phaneuf, Kulemin, Gardiner, Ashton, and second round picks in 14 and 15, plus a prospect or two.

    Just a thought. And your response is……

    • Crippling when you think of what the other prospects could be Levio Percy Granberg etc plus one of those picks belongs to chicago for the Bolland deal I believe. I do see what you mean and where your going with the idea tho, thats kinda my point as well, people saying deal dion and find a better 1 or 2 guy I dont think quite realize what it would cost to get one thru a trade, and generally they dont walk as ufas.
      Im not saying the leafs should open the vault for Dion but he is not as easily replaced as some may think and Gardiner Reilly and Franson are a ways off being as competent defensively as Phaneuf.

    • yeah, the preds are stupid enough to make that deal. leaf garbage for a superstar

      • Not as super as he was when Suter was his partner.

    • @Drew I hope that was sarcasm, because if not you need to get help.

      • I may need help. Do you actually think the preds wouldn’t jump at the chance to rid themselves of that cumbersome contract. He may be a good player but is way over paid IMO. then again maybe you refer to something else I said, you were not particularily clear. I knew it would illicit some moronic response though.

  8. If the Sabres couldn’t keep Vanek by offering him the biggest salary in the league, how can the Islanders? They are no closer to a Cup than 75% of the other teams in the league. It seems that if money isn’t important to Vanek, he will try and sign with a top contending team. The Islanders are not there yet.

  9. Dion is very good (B+ say), but he’s not your prototypical stud, he’s a hybrid of offensive and defensive ability. He has value, but I don’t think he’s as irreplaceable as Kessel.

    Considering the Oiler’s current state of chaos. I think that they would make a serious offer if TML were to make Phaenuf and Reimer both available as part of a package. They could help them save their season, and we could get a big shot in the arm for futures,

    For example:
    Phaneuf & Reimer to EDM
    Ferrence, a young blue chip center, and another player who’s contract no longer fits in EDM’s cap.

    • which blue chip centre? arcobello? do the oil really want phaneuf? hope not

      • Nah the Oil love losing they should just do nothing and maybe get another high pick. Eventually someone will trade one of their top D man for Hemsky…. Or maybe the Sabers will give you Miller for a 3rd round pick just because the rest of the league is really no comparison to all those shiney high picks from last place team. Gord you wouldnt happen to be one of the snobby Oiler fans who dont mind losing as long as you dont trade those high picks are ya?

        • Least ya can say you win draft lotteries

      • Does your hate of the leafs keep you up at night?

  10. Honestly how much of a difference or rather ho effective is Dion if his team is giving up 36 shots against per game while he is on for nearly half the game. The only time you notice him is when he and Gunnarson are trapped in the defensive zone. There is no offensive flair to his game. The power play would have much better if we had O’Reilly or Gardiner out there with Franson to shoot it.

    If we weren’t getting carried by stellar goaltending Phaneuf would be a big minus and the Leafs could very well be a bottom feeder.

    We have depth on D, we need to have money to resign our young D (especially Franson resigned) and get forwards that can sustain offensive zone pressure.

    • Phaneuf is a plus 10 with 7 points playing 24 mins a night against top lines. Franson is plus 1 playing second pairing minutes 20-21 a night ….your right the goaltending is making Dion look good while Reimer and Bernier dont really want to help out with Franson or the others…its a conspiracy on par with Denver police arresting Varly so the Russians dont win the gold in hockey.

  11. My personal thought: Phaneuf’s value is supposedly higher due to his captaincy. However, I don’t find him an effective leader (poor decisions, cocky attitude, bad reputation coming out of Calgary).

    If anything, I’d find his captaincy to diminish his value – no way you can offer him a long-term contract and not keep him the captain. But do you want him to have the “C” in 6-8 years?

    So, in offering him a contract, you’re also ensuring his long-term captaincy. Personally, I wouldn’t want that part of the deal, which would make the contract negotiations tricky.

    But that’s just one shmoe’s opinion…

    • For the record, I do think Phaneuf is a top-2 d-man and a valuable player. I just wouldn’t want him as my captain for the next decade or so.

  12. This Phaneuf thing can go either way. I like him but I would hope they kept the contract to 5 years for a little more then he makes now. If he wants 8 years he needs to take a hair cut. If he is looking for 7.5 million plus or a seven or eight year deal I would trade him for a younger defense and take my chances. Let’s face it the Leafs have plenty of leadership that would make a good Captain so that is a moot point. If he wants max money for max term and is not thinking about how that affects the team we can field I would trade him right away because he would be showing poor leadership.

  13. For those who has seen my posts, they will know that I’ve never been a Phaneuf fan.
    Therefore, I would offer only a 4-5 year contract, at 6.5-6.8 Mill a year, no more.
    If he declines the Nonis can see what he can get for him as a playoff rental, then focus on the UFAs in the off-season. There are plenty of potential UFA’s coming up in 2014 that might test the market and I would say can fit the bill as top 2 d-men to eat up the same minutes. I would target specifically
    Orpik, Girardi, and Robidas any of these three would cost significantly less because they don’t have the offensive skills Phaneuf does, but we don’t nee that side of him. We need stay at home responsible guys. Although I do admit Dion’s defensive game has improves, I don’t put much faith in it (especially for $7 Mill a year)

    • and grammar goes right out the window today LOL

  14. If dion wasnt a pro hockey player he would be a walmart greeter

  15. Guys the leafs have Dion right now and with him their bad just what do guys think by trading him will do to this defence.

  16. I would love to see the leafs take a run at Keith yandle . However Phoenix has been scoring a lot more so far this year . Their need for more scoring is not as great. Otherwise I would offer them lupul and gardiner .or leivo
    Then we could shop phaneuf if a 5 yr deal at 6.5 to 6.8 could get done. And make clarkson the captain.

    • Please tell me you’re kidding….

    • if we are gonna give up Lupul in a package to get yandle which would makes sense giving some to get some. Then do not give Levio up. I put him ahead of Biggs. That package is to big. Lupul Biggs and a second. I have been saying Yandle forever. I watched Levio in Sudbury way to much skill to give up. Biggs never impresses me. but he is only 19 but would give up. Damn it would be hard giving up lupul but a gd trade asset to get a top 2 dman

      • Wow

    • Your on glue to give up Lupul and Gardiner I suspect if Dion was gone Lupul would be the next captain.

  17. I see a lot of good points raised here in regard to term and finances for resigning Phaneuf, but man, It’s so easy to be an armchair GM. It’s not just a matter of picking up the phone and getting ‘er done. We’re not trading hockey cards here people. Who’s to say Nonis hasn’t been trying to move Dion for the past two years or so? There are so many intangibles in working out a trade, particularly in today’s NHL, what with “no trade” and “limited movement ” clauses, cap hits, impending free agency and roster capacity. Deals(other than deadline day) just aren’t that common anymore, and there’s reasons why. IMHO, unless you’re entering a rebuilding phase, the only way you trade a key component is if you’ve got. or are receiving, someone equally capable of doing the job of the outgoing player.

  18. Off Topic: I just met and spoke with Marcel Dione. Nice guy.

    • He is…Ive had breakfast at his dinner while he was there before, he was very welcoming and went above and beyond to talk with us for sometime, it was much more than the typical how was your meal type thing. Very nice man.

    • and one of the greatest hockey players ever. Look up his record, like wow.
      Loved watching him in person when he was a LA King

  19. Just to change the subject away from leaf land I don’t think the Bruins need a upgrade in there D what they need is some how get there PP going for so much talent on that team there PP is just so hard to watch

  20. Sens should ask the Leafs about Ranger or MacWilliam … we desperately need some defensive depth. If we could pull one of them out of Toronto for a pick and then work out a deal with Edmonton surrounding Anderson for Perron & Labarbera I would be happy!

    • Ranger is not what the Sens need and I’m sure you could have him for nothing. I’m not kidding by saying Ranger is the worse Maple Leafs defenseman I have seen in 35 years cheering for them. He is a huge liability that will not be playing once Fraser comes back. I’m sure Nonis would trade him for an 8th round pick… I know there is no 8th round pick but maybe the NHL would do the Leafs a favor and approve the trade.

  21. No way we sign him for that much. Great stats 15 games in do not erase 3-4 seasons of mediocrity. Eating up lots of minutes does not mean he’s an elite defenseman especially if a fifth of those minutes he’s exhausted and ineffective. 5 years 6 million and then see how/if he warrants another contract. If he wants more than 6.5 then trade his rights. The odds of drafting, trading for or developing a suitable replacement are MUCH greater than his guaranteed performance for that contract.

  22. Edit *trade HIM not his rights.

  23. Well there ya have it Bolland and Bozak done for about a month (at least)… The biggest weakness on this team which I harp on constantly is about to be brutally exposed center not D. Time of posession offensive zone time (all stats that can be linked to the position) are already horrible and our top (only) 3 centers are A sophmore (Kadri) a 4th liner (McClement) and an AHL journeyman Smith. Nonis should have made a move for a center before it was a necessity now the cost will be greater because GMs will know he is dealing from a position of weakness and need.