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