Toronto Maple Leafs ink captain Phaneuf for 7 years, $49 million

Posted Dec 31, 2013 by Marcus Hondro
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed their captain and leader Dion Phaneuf to a long-term contract just ahead of the Winter Classic. Phaneuf, 28, will get $49 million US over 7 years, making him one of the highest paid defensemen in the NHL.
Toronto Maple Leafs player Dion Phaneuf
Toronto Maple Leafs player Dion Phaneuf
The former-Calgary Flame, who came over to the Leafs in a 7 player deal in 2010, leads the team in ice-time at 24:21 per game and coach Randy Carlyle calls on Phaneuf to play in tough spots both defensively and offensively.
“This is a very proud day for me and my family,” Phaneuf said in a statement, “I’m very honoured to be the captain of this historic franchise and to maintain the opportunity to play and represent the Toronto Maple Leafs for many years to come. We have passionate fans and a dedicated ownership group. I have great teammates and look forward to growing with them and achieving our goal of winning.”
Phaneuf will play his first game under the new contract on New Year's Day (Wednesday) when the Maple Leafs play the Detroit Red Wings in the annual Winter Classic (CBC, 12:30 p.m. ET) at Michigan Stadium.
Had he not signed, Phaneuf would have been an UFA at the end of this season. Among defenceman in the NHL only Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Zdeno Chara and Brian Campbell will make more than Phaneuf.