David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the hockey club has signed Captain Dion Phaneuf to a seven-year contract extension that will commence at the start of the 2014-15 NHL season.
"Dion is our team leader and has been a pillar in our building process," said Nonis. "He has proven to be a very durable and reliable defenceman in all facets of the game. He plays big minutes in every situation for us and we're pleased to have him under contract for the next seven seasons."
"This is a very proud day for me and my family," said Phaneuf. "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, 28, has played 39 games for the Maple Leafs this season, registering 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) with 50 penalty minutes. The 6-3, 214-pound defenceman leads the team in plus/minus (+13) and average ice-time per game (24:21), is second in hits (102) and blocked shots (76), and third in penalty minutes. He was also invited to Team Canada's orientation camp for the 2014 Winter Olympics from August 25-28.
Among all NHL defencemen over the last three seasons (2011-12 to present), Phaneuf ranks second in penalty minutes (tie-207), seventh in games played (tie-169) and goals (tie-25), eighth in powerplay goals (tie-10), 15th in points (87) and 17th in assists (tie- 62). Since his NHL debut in 2005-06, only nine other NHL defencemen have more goals per game than Phaneuf's 0.172. He also ranks 20th in points per game (0.556) among defencemen in that span, one spot behind Boston's Zdeno Chara (0.573) and just ahead of Nashville's Shea Weber (0.554).
Since his arrival in Toronto on January 31, 2010 via trade, Phaneuf has missed only 18 games; 16 due to a leg laceration in November of 2010 and two this season due to suspension. With Phaneuf in the lineup, the Maple Leafs have posted an all-time record of 125-104-32.
In 639 career NHL games with Calgary (2005-06 to 2009-10) and Toronto (2009-10 to present), the native of Edmonton, Alberta, has amassed 110 goals, 245 assists, 355 points and 851 minutes in penalties. Phaneuf was a Norris Trophy Finalist (top 3 in voting) and named to the NHL's First All-Star Team in 2007-08, a Calder Trophy Finalist and named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2005-06, and has been named to play in three NHL All-Star Games (2006-07, 2007-08, 2011-12) throughout his career.
Phaneuf was originally selected by the Flames in the first round, ninth overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft.
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