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NHL Toronto Maple Leafs

Dion Phaneuf’s Contract Extension Is a Great Sign For Toronto Maple Leafs’ Future

Dion Phaneuf

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs are preparing themselves for the upcoming NHL Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings, but the fan base received some good news today.

The organization officially announced that team captain (and leader off the ice) Dion Phaneuf has reportedly agreed to sign a seven-year contract extension that will start the next season. Even though the details of the deal were not disclosed, it is a great move for the future of the franchise.

Phaneuf has always been considered one of the top defensemen in the NHL, and he has been an insurance policy for the Maple Leafs ever since his arrival on 2010. In that three-year span, Phaneuf has only missed 18 games with Toronto – 16 due to injury on 2010 and two serving a suspension this year. The former ninth-overall pick has produced steadily on both sides of the pack for the team.

Over the last three seasons, Phaneuf has been as consistent as it gets. Whether it’s putting the body on the line or registering points offensively, the 28-year-old has always stepped it up when it counts. This year, he leads the Maple Leafs in several statistics such as plus-minus and average time on ice. He is ranked second in hits and third in PIM. In addition, he also registers 15 points in 39 games.

Phaneuf’s leadership goes beyond the ice and he has even been recognized by Team Canada as he was invited for the Orientation Camp prior to the Winter Olympics. He is a complete player and leader, and Maple Leafs fans will surely be delighted with the news of his extension.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google