© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf stretches before taking on the Buffalo Sabres in NHL hockey action in Toronto, Friday.
The Maple Leafs have signed captain Dion Phaneuf to a seven-year deal.
Phaneuf, 28, is now under contract through the 2020-21 NHL season.
The defenceman leads the team in ice time at 24:21 a game and could be considered the Leafs’ most irreplaceable player given his contributions in all situations.
“Dion is our team leader and has been a pillar in our building process,” general manager Dave Nonis said in a statement “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.”
He has four goals and 11 assists this season.
Recent reports have indicated the contract would be worth roughly US$49 million.
“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,” Phaneuf said in a statement.
The Leafs scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon at Michigan Stadium to address the deal. Phaneuf and his teammates will hold their Winter Classic practice there later.