"Boy oh boy, would the Maple Leafs love to find a taker for Nazem Kadri."

Steve Dangle
December 29 2013 11:16AM

 

Wait. What?!?

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LFR7 - Game 40 - GREAT SCOTT! - Buf 3, Tor 4 (SO)

Steve Dangle
December 28 2013 12:46PM

 

But hey, they won!

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Should the Maple Leafs sign Dion Phaneuf to a seven-year deal?

Cam Charron
December 28 2013 12:15PM

In a word, no.

Dion Phaneuf is 28 and in his physical peak. He's an excellent defenceman with tremendous talent and the best the Maple Leafs have had in years. He faces the toughest competition in the NHL according to Behind the Net's metric Corsi Rel QoC metric, and the toughest competition of any NHL defenceman (fifth overall) according to Extra Skater's Time on Ice QoC metric.

I've written in the past that Phaneuf takes a lot of undue heat for his play, but it got to a point this season where I'm not sure I can continue to work under the assertion that Dion Phaneuf is a worthy No. 1 defenceman. A $7-million contract would definitely have him paid as a No. 1, and accounting for salary cap inflation, it wouldn't be until 2018 or 2019 that the salary cap is high enough that $7-million isn't an above average cap hit for a No. 1.

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Money Well Spent

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
December 28 2013 09:32AM

TSN is reporting this morning that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dion Phaneuf are extremely close to putting pen to paper on a deal that would pay Dion Phaneuf $49 million dollars, give or take a few bucks, over the next seven years, giving a cap hit of $7,000,000 a season. Phaneuf is a polarizing figure amongst Leafs fans, with many seeing strong ability in him, and others thinking he's the bane of the team's existance.

I wrote this article in November to show his qualities, and that a contract in this range (then rumoured to be 7x7.15) would be more than reasonable compared to his peers in the cap era. This year, Phaneuf is again leading the league in Quality of Competition faced despite poor Quality of Teammates, and has been fantastic at moving the puck into the other team's zone (40.3% offensive zone starts, 47.3% OZ finishes). His production is a bit down, due to a falling even strength shooting percentage, but this was to be expected for himself and much of the rest of the team, many of whom set career highs. It's also worth noting that the defensive core as a whole has had production issues this year, meaning it could be a bit systems based as well.

Other stats also line up with last year's, which were used in this article for the sake of reasonable sample sizes. As such, i'm confident in this still being applicable as a fair evaluation of his contract situation. Enjoy!

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Leafs postgame - Springtime for Hitler: Leafs beat Sabres 4-3 in SO

Cam Charron
December 27 2013 09:16PM

 

It wasn't pretty. I'm not even sure what it was, but the Maple Leafs got two points Friday night and New Jersey, Ottawa and the New York Rangers combined for just one. Despite a good second period by the Leafs, I'd be quite content if we destroyed every copy of the game film from Toronto's 4-3 shootout win against the Sabres and never discussed it again. It will be one of those games, six or seven years from now, we will look back on and say "Toronto won 4-3" and that will be the end of it.

This game deserves no detail, no respect. NHL hockey games play 82 times a year to account for the occasional stinker. On Friday, both Toronto and Buffalo brought it, and not in a good way. On one hand, the Leafs had a furious second period rally, scoring three goals in 8:05 against one of the best goaltenders in the world. On the other hand, the Sabres gave the worst player in the league 12:39 of ice-time and let him play over five minutes against Toronto's most dangerous line.

Still, a win. Those come by far too rarely for us to bicker about just how they come about.

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