Dion Phaneuf Re-Signs for 7 years, $49milllion

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Fat stacks for D Photo: Getty Images

As reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dion Phaneuf have come to terms on a 7-year contract extension valued at $49-million ($7-million AAV).  This keeps the 28 year old Phaneuf in the fold until the end of the 2020-21 season.  Bob McKenzie is reporting that there is some form of NMC/NTC, which is a typical addendum to UFA-year contracts.  The deal is the second-most expensive contract ever signed by the Maple Leafs (Kessel’s 8-year, $64-million dollar deal signed earlier this season is #1).

The Only Man for the Job

The money should come as no surprise.  Back in October, I wrote that the Leafs would likely spend between 47 and 56 million on a 7-8 year deal for the Captain (between 6.7-7 AAV).  Very simply, the Leafs defense is among the most porous in the league, and Phaneuf is one of the few defenders that can play 25+ minutes a night in three zones.  There’s no one else in the system that can provide what Phaneuf does, and this is the going rate for a defenseman of his pedigree.

Due respect to Morgan Rielly, but even if he is a No. 1 defenseman, it won’t be for at least a few seasons.  The prize UFA defender on the horizon is Dan Girardi, though his availability next summer remains uncertain.  Phaneuf was going to get paid by some team, and Leafs GM Dave Nonis chose to deal with the devil he knew instead of trolling the free agent market for unknowns.

Terms and Conditions

Detractors will point to his meagre and falling point totals since coming to Toronto – he has just 15 points through 39 games this season – as reason for concern.  However, as Elliot Saccucci pointed out the other day, in the world of a rising cap Phaneuf’s dollar figure won’t admit much impediment to building a winner.

His cap number will come in at about 10% of the total cap next season.  That sounds high, but will fall as HRR continues to skyrocket and increase the annual salary cap figures league-wide.  The more legitimate concern should be: just how prudent is it to pay a guy $7-million until he’s 36 years old.

Neon Dion

Phaneuf, selected ninth overall in 2003, has played 261 games for Toronto, recording 35 goals and 92 assists for 126 points over the last 5 NHL seasons.  For his career, he’s tallied 110 goals, 245 assists for 355 points in 639 games.  Since entering the league in 2005-06, Phaneuf ranks sixth in points and third in goals by a defenseman.  Phaneuf has been a finalist for both rookie of the year (2006) and the Norris trophy (2008).

Top Point Producing NHL Defenceman Since 2005-2006

Click on column headings to organize or use the search bar.
RkPlayerFromToTmGPGAPTS+/-PIMEVPPSHSS%
1Nicklas Lidstrom20062012DET548913254161732384150013526.7
2Dan Boyle20062014TOT585101291392-154445248114477
3Brian Campbell20062014TOT6276130636741145322909216.6
4Zdeno Chara20062014TOT6341122513631368024168317766.3
5Sergei Gonchar20062014TOT54369293362-234242246111366.1
6Dion Phaneuf20062014TOT638109245354118494761117856.1
7Lubomir Visnovsky20062014TOT54694260354262535539010259.2
8Kimmo Timonen20062014TOT63858293351594082330510595.5
9Duncan Keith20062014CHI647622833451194234215513204.7
10Tomas Kaberle20062013TOT54146293339-40150252109255
11Shea Weber20062014NSH563117195312314395756415097.8
12Brian Rafalski20062011TOT4564925930882172222618305.9
13Andrei Markov20062014MTL4556424330726305194237948.1
14Mark Streit20062014TOT52868236304-55270293729417.2
15Chris Pronger20062012TOT44563235298584922439010096.2
16Jay Bouwmeester20062014TOT6576922729624334722012355.6
17Mike Green20062014WSH46897199296513644650111278.6
18Ryan Suter20062014TOT6304225029241438271419864.3
19Marek Zidlicky20062014TOT57457233290-41502174008946.4
20Dennis Wideman20062014TOT60575210285-543972944212446
21Christian Ehrhoff20062014TOT60964217281684233628012535.1
22John-Michael Liles20062014TOT54867212279-402143235010086.6
23Brent Seabrook20062014CHI639592142731074773820110995.4
24Joe Corvo20062014TOT58279193272191873938213066
25Niklas Kronwall20062014DET5325720926650352312608256.9
26Scott Niedermayer*20062010TOT37160204264-5306213907867.6
27Ryan Whitney20062014TOT48050209259-30381252417057.1
28Bryan McCabe20062011TOT42769189258-3470264309657.2
29Joni Pitkanen20062013TOT46449206255-23440351319045.4

The Scientific Method

For those who look for more than just box cars, some advanced metrics are unearthing a lode of information on Dion Phaneuf’s two-way contrbutions to the Maple Leafs.  One such, THoR (Total Hockey Rating, created by Michael Shuckers and Jim Curro) puts Phaneuf in the top ten among NHL defenders over the last two seasons.  It goes on to suggest that Phaneuf’s contributions over a season add up to almost 4 more wins compared to a league-average player.

More on THoR from http://statsportsconsulting.com: THoR is a two-way player rating that accounts for the all of the on-ice action events when a players is on the ice as well as their linemates, their opponents and where their shift starts.  Each event is assessed a value according to the chance that it leads to a goal.  THoR uses a statistical model to determine the value of each player’s contribution to the overall outcomes that occur while they are on the ice.  The values for THoR in the columns of the files below are given in wins over an average player for an 82 game season.  Count/Number in the files below is the number of plays that a given players was on the ice.

If that doesn’t float your boat, then there are some more traditional fancy stats to consider.  According to Behind the Net, among defenders with at least 20 games played, Phaneuf faces the hardest Relative Corsi quality of competition, the lowest quality of teammates score, while being twice as likely to start a shift in the defensive zone.

Phaneuf is Phaneuf

What we see every night, Phaneuf shouldering the load against increasingly difficult odds, is confirmed in the above numbers.  And it’s no small part as to why he’s been paid $49-million over the next seven years.  His ability to handle those tough and plentiful minutes as time goes by, while also providing above average offense, will determine whether this deal is a great success or failure.  But the money is market value for 2013, and it’s nowhere near the worst deal Nonis has signed a player to in the last 362 days.

  • Ratzshite

    i like the fact that every article about Phaneuf signing has to sell us on him being worth the money.

  • Komas Taberle

    I am happy with this , as long as we can trade him after 4 years.

  • 4evrblue

    great news. Dion was my favourite defenseman even before he was a leaf. Happy to see him get locked up

  • Chrizila

    woot

  • 4evrblue

    Komas Taberle only a few comments so far and they have been insults or backhanded compliments. I’m think I’m just gonna leave for a while lol. Not in the mood for all of this today lol

  • Mcost61

    Nice to have Phaneuf settled in. Get that contract crap out of way before we pound the Wings.

  • darthNihilus

    Good for Dion. Lets hope its good for the Leafs too. And Carlysle – stop playing the guy 28 mins a night!

  • leafsince93

    happy with this deal. there r lot of detractors out there of Phaneuf but you have to give him credit that he has rounded his game. his points total is down but that comes with being paired with Gunnar and playing against best of opponents. Cap is going to keep rising so would have his value, i like the signing very much. he seems to have thick skin and criticism does not seem to bother him too much. i just wish sometimes RC would play him little less.

  • Jon5200

    imho….this is a good deal that will look even better as the cap rises and defenseman are getting 8, 9 and 10 mil over the next 2-4 yrs……Dion’s BIG gaff’s last season are MUCH fewer this season and i would also say if he did go to free agency he would get 8mil per at the 7yr term(no doubt at all)……also, should Leaf defensive propects develop into bonifide nhlers….Nonis still has the option to trade him as he does not have a complete no trade claus….

  • Knights2Leafs

    F…. awesome.  Great way to end the year and an even better way to have our captain lead us to victory to start the New Year.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/sunhornbyhttps://twitter.com/sunhornby/status/418042335058882561
    If math is right and Phaneuf wears C for length of his new 7-year deal, he’ll tie George Armstrong as longest serving Leaf capt. (11 yrs).

  • Great Dane

    Anything at 7 or less in cap hit would be a good deal for the Leafs.

    Loiselle and Nonis has done well with both phanuef and Kessel.

    Now we need another couple of pieces to be a contender – one of them a new coach.

  • Burtonboy

    I actually relish the idea of Phaneuf playing a shutdown / 2 way role along side Morgan Rielly for yrs to come

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050/status/418042929702133761
    No defenceman in the league has faced more difficult competition in the past 2 years than Phaneuf, this according to http://t.co/hb4ut27vSD.

  • Great Dane

    Burtonboyon the defense we would just need a really good shut-down d-man to complement the defense

  • peterbleafs

    Its an okay deal.

  • Burtonboy

    Great Dane Burtonboy We potentially have a couple already

  • Knights2Leafs

    Burtonboy 
    Anyone worried about how Dion will play as a 36 year old can take solace in knowing that he’ll have Morgan Rielly by his side to prop up the old bastard.

  • peterbleafs

    darthNihilusCarlyle is a moron, now in the Ron Wilson category.  But good signing by Toronto, I really like Phaneuf as long as his minutes stay reasonable.  He is not a minute muncher.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DarrenDregerhttps://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/418044589438541824
    One of main stumbling blocks in Phaneuf negotiation was determining # of teams on acceptable trade list. It’s more than 10.

  • mr_hanie

    Looks like the regular Phanuef bashers have not signed in yet, but this deal gives Leafs some sort of stability on the back end

  • darthNihilus

    peterbleafs darthNihilus I think even the stats would show that Dion is most effective when not playing more than 22 minutes a night. During the playoffs last year he was gassed. Lets not repeat the same mistake this year. I still think he needs help though, not in a partner, but in another shut down D that can clear bodies and pucks and can actually make a pass.

  • Great Dane

    Burtonboy Agree the defense I am worried about – the kids need a couple of years experience then we are good.

  • 2minutes

    …go on facebook and you will see some of the dumbest shit you could ever imagine. Haters errrrrrywhere!

  • Komas Taberle

    4evrblue Komas Taberle 
    Not an insult at all 4evrblue. I am just hoping we can pay more upfront for the first 4 years of the contract and leave the Leafs with an option of trading him to a team that needs the cap hit and not the $ hit the last 3 years of his contract

  • Great Dane

    mr_hanieIt now gives Nonis the possibility to make a big trade.

  • Ryan

    Great Dane mr_hanie 
    I can’twait to see what PK Subban will ask for

  • DARF24

    I think a guy like orpik/Girardi + reduced mins could bring dion back to his calgary production. 

    I like that weve signed him long term hes a pillar to the team. Its too bad fans bash a player that has the biggest workload and the most expected of him (yes more then kessel and the goalies)

  • Burtonboy

    @Ryan Great Dane mr_hanie PK puts up a lot of points for sure but I doubt he will ever do what Phaneuf does defensively

  • Ryan

    https://twitter.com/MapleLeafshttps://twitter.com/MapleLeafs/status/418032653669896194
    The https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash have signed Dion Phaneuf to a seven-year contract extension: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PhaneufSigned&src=hash http://t.co/4gYEXHpl8u

  • Ryan

    Burtonboy Great Dane mr_hanie 
    I would think he will ask for 9 mil

  • 4evrblue

    Komas Taberle4evrblue you’re right, it’s not an insult. Your comment would fall under “backhanded compliment”

  • Mcost61

    Juniors have a big game soon. Go Canada!

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DarrenDregerhttps://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/418044084008136706
    Phaneuf extension includes modified no-trade clause beginning in year 1 of extension. He has no protection until extension kicks in…

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Burtonboy As it stands, he’s already served longer than Clark or Gilmour.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Stoked.

  • Burtonboy

    DeclanK Burtonboy Yep but easily the most controversial Capt. we have ever had . I wonder how some of our other Capt’s would have fared in a world of social media like Dion is faced with.

  • Burtonboy

    DeclanK On your way or there already ?

  • Ryan

    The thing I’m worried about is losing Claude Loiselle

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Burtonboy DeclanK Not going. Stephens and Alec are en route.

  • DJGLENN22

    Gee guys stay away from face book………..what a bunch of friggin haters…………man they are all in there hatin on Dion and our Leafs bunch of blood sucking Hab and Senaturd fans……..wish they where  all in a giant toilet so I could just flick the handle a few times to scare them and bit just before the big flush and gone every last one of them……….No more hating on our players and team……….all we would have to worry about then is are own haters………..lol…….GO LEAFS GO

  • Great Dane

    @RyanThat wouldn’t be good I think he is a tough deal maker.

  • theacs1966

    Burtonboy Cam, where are you?  I told you he didn’t have a no trade!  Moot point now.

  • Mcost61

    DJGLENN22 Fecesbook

  • Jmessih

    lol at the “…” Shut up Dreger

  • Komas Taberle

    theacs1966 Burtonboy 
    You were right, Cam was wrong, nothing unusual about that.

  • theacs1966

    Komas Taberle theacs1966 Burtonboy Not that Capgeek can’t make an error, but he just would not believe it.  He showed me a quote from his agent, but that was moot as well since he was traded here.

  • NotInsane

    As long as Dion has a great THoR rating

  • Ryan

    Great Dane 
    I know teams are interested in him. And he has been the architect behind most of these deals. From reading he has been involved in all aspects of the NHL

  • Doorman

    I Have 2 Words for you Bastards:  HAPPY NEWYEARS!!!

    DION ROCKS!!! So Does ELISHA!!!