Nonis: Kessel, Phaneuf extensions not on ‘front burner’

Recently re-signed Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis has already made his mark on the team in his first seven months on the job, but his biggest test is still ahead of him.

The Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, a defenseman who logged 25:10 minutes per game in 2013, has just one year left on his contract. On top of that, their leading scorer, Phil Kessel, is also set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Locking those players up or otherwise preparing the team for losing one or both of them could be the difference between the Leafs continuing on their current upward path or stumbling, but regardless of what Nonis’ plans are, it doesn’t sound like he will act soon.

18 Responses to Nonis: Kessel, Phaneuf extensions not on ‘front burner’

  1. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I still think Edmonton would like Dion. I really don’t know if we will have the cap space to sign Reimer, Gardiner, Kessel, Bolland, Kulimen, McClement and Dion at end of season. At this point, I take Kessel over Phaneuf because the forward support is in place for Kessel, but I do not believe that Dion fits as well with the rest of the Leafs D.

    I would do

    To Edmomton
    Phaneuf $6.5UFA, Gunnar $3.15 (3 years), Kenny Ryan
    To Toronto
    Smid $3.5 (4 years,) Petry $1.75 RFA, Hemsky $5UFA, Moroz/Pitlick

    Both teams D could be set for years to come by gaining elements they were missing. Hemsky fills third line RW scoring role for one season while Leaf prospects develop. With Hemsky then off the books at end of season and no other BIG contracts to sign other than Kessel, the Leafs should be in good cap shape and/or able to pursue free agents if needed.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      No thank you

    • Gambo says:

      No way do the leafs make the playoffs next year, or improve at all by doing that trade. No more Hemsky to the leafs proposals please, he’s a washed up, injury prone, overpaid, bum who isn’t at all suited for a bottom 6 role.

      Okay, so maybe this trade is to save cap space to make a big free agent splash in 2014, cool. Dion Phaneuf is the best UFA defenseman that year. So that obviously means he wont be replaced by free agency. Maybe Bouwmeester could replace him, but it’s unlikely he leaves St. Louis and it’s very unlikely he signs with the leafs.

      Kessel, Lupul, JVR and Clarkson are the top 4 wingers, so that makes UFAs like Gaborik, Heatley and Vanek useless. You could spend huge on a 35 year old Thornton, or Paul Stastny, but still it’s unlikely they would even want to sign in Toronto. Also no need for a goalie upgrade.

      Kulemin isn’t going to get a raise, Phaneuf isn’t going to get a raise, Bolland isn’t going to get a raise, McClement will get a small raise, Kessel will get a significant raise and same goes with Gardiner. The salary cap will go up and the team will more than likely be without Lile’s contract. They wont be in cap trouble.

      The only reason to be trading two significant players from Toronto is if it’s going to improve the team, not to make them worse. Plus that’s an absolute steal for Edmonton.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        I didn’t expect leafs fans to like it. Petry is better than Gunnar and either prospect mentioned has a better chance of making an impact with T.O than Ryan. Smid is a very good D-man. He and Petry would make good partners for Gardiner, Franson, Reilly, or/plus they already play together. There is no steal for Edmonton, just overvaluing of two Leaf players.
        The funny thing is, it is likely the Oilers who say No. Phaneuf is UFA at end of season and will want at least the same money (probably a raise if he plays well), If they can’t resign him they would have given up two top 4 D-men plus a potential good sized 2nd/3rd line prospect for Gunnarsson and Ryan…huge loss for Edmonton on the deal if Dion doesn’t re-sign. Where as Smid is signed longer term and Petry is a RFA. Toronto wouldn’t have to worry about losing either and could have both signed for about the price of Dion.

        • reinjosh says:

          I don’t even know how to respond to this post and trade offer. It’s beyond awful for the Leafs.

          Trading for Gunnar for Petry doesn’t help at all. He’s maybe a little better and is likely to want just as much as Gunnar. And really it’s more likely that your underrating Gunnar after his hip issues. Grass is always greener right?

          Pitlick/Moroz, sure theyre better than Ryan. Why not. Nowhere near enough to offset the difference between Phaneuf and Smid.

          The presumption that we need to trade Phanuef because he MIGHT leave is just beyond moronic. If we needed to trade him so badly, we’d get a better deal at the deadline than this shit.

          • leafs_wallace93 says:

            I love how Dion is set to be the highest and most sought after pending UFA on the blueline next season yet his critics (yes RLF I know you don’t hate Dion) treat him like he has negative trade value?

            • Gambo says:

              If he doesn’t resign with the leafs, he’ll be paid Suter type money in an open market and that team that signs him will be considered one of the winners. Just like Toronto was when they signed Clarkson.

              I don’t like how there’s such a desire to overpay huge on UFA’s yet when it comes to resigning players every cent overpaid is a massive over payment.

              • nordiques100 says:

                keep in mind the leafs gave up nothing to get Dion, so if he walks, so be it.

                I don’t see what the desperate need is to move him now, just to ensure we don’t lose him for nothing.

                That thinking of using next season as another growth year and the playoffs being a “nice bonus” is absurd.

            • nordiques100 says:

              Thats not the problem Wallace. The problem is the thought that its addition by subtraction just moving Dion altogether, irregardless of the return.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                It’s not just moving Dion regardless of return. It is that Dion is a very good defenceman, but we need some defensive defencemen to go with Gardiner, Reilly and Franson, but not kids, guys with experience. Or we need to get guys for Dion. Is Gunnar or Ranger the right guy? The Leafs will not trade Dion at the deadline for picks and prospects unless we are out of the playoff race. No contending team will give us back a quality useable piece to get a pending UFA at the deadline. They will need the useable pieces they have.
                As much as people think some undervalue Dion, many on here undervalue players from other teams unless they are the stars everyone has heard of.
                If Dion walks for nothing at end of season, everyone on here will bitch how Nonis didn’t get anything for him when he could have.
                I hope Dion has another good season and Gunnar, Gardiner, Franson, Ranger also prove themselves to give us a solid top 5. On paper, it looks like a mish-mash of talents where no one has a definite style besides Gardiner.

  2. Zach Bogosian seven/$36 million. $5.143 million cap hit.

  3. DannyLeafs says:

    So another wrinkle in the new CBA I didn’t realize existed, and that is that teams can no longer walk away from players who get awarded 3.5 million or under. This means that the deal for Gunner was necessary, as if he got awarded a one year at say 3.3 or so, the Leafs would have had to take it and also qualify him at 3.63 the year after.

    What makes this scary is Fraser’s situation. If he gets awarded 1.6 or more, the Leafs have to pay it for next season. That would make things tight under the cap for next season. I think moving Liles just became a little more of a priority.

  4. Gambo says:

    If Franson and the Leafs can’t work out a deal, here are some deals I am (quickly) working out to entertain the idea:

    To TOR: Adam Larsson, Steve Bernier.
    To NJ: Franson, 1st and Colborne.

    NJ gets Franson(everyone here knows what he brings to the table), a 1st to replace the one they lost in the whole Kovalchuk situation and a decent young centre who could step right into the their top 9.

    Leafs get cap relief and a player who is more rounded and defensive than Franson. May be worse than Franson now, but has higher potential. Can step into the top 4 right away, essentially replace Franson.

    To TOR: Luca Spisa
    To ANA: Cody Franson

    I like Spisa, he’s strong defensively and is really smart with the puck. 6’2″ and only 23. signed for 2 more years at just over 2 million. Anaheim gets a right handed defenseman who could potentially be a good partner for Fowler(their biggest necessity right now). Franson seems to have chemistry with whoever he plays with. Not crazy about this one, just tossin’ er out there.

    To TOR: Luke Schenn :), Max Talbot
    To PHI: Cody Franson, pick, prospect.

    Trade Liles to stay above salary cap. 🙂

    To TOR: Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrow, Chris Tanev.
    TO VAN: Cody Franson, Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak.

    To TOR: Girardi.
    To NYR: Franson, pick, prospect.

    The Rangers need an offensive right handed defenseman with a big shot. Toronto needs a right handed defensive defenseman.

    To TOR: Ryan Strome.
    TO NYI: Cody Franson, Joe Colborne and a 1st/2nd?

    One of these may be fair value wise, who knows.

    • To TOR: Girardi.
      To NYR: Franson, pick, prospect.

      The Rangers need an offensive right handed defenseman with a big shot. Toronto needs a right handed defensive defenseman.

      Rangers are tight against the cap this year, it makes no sense to add Franson who could be seeking what Girardi is being paid or more. If this was next year and talks with Girardi became sour, or the Rangers didn’t have the luxury of buying out Richards, a deal like this might be do-able. This year it doesn’t make sense to trade away a top pairing D for Franson, unless that first along with a good prospect is coming with it. Although last year was a slight disappointment in the way he played and we do need a guy with a big shot, but not at the expense of Girardi.

      To TOR: Adam Larsson, Steve Bernier.
      To NJ: Franson, 1st and Colborne

      I’m not sold on Larsson. I don’t see him ever being more than a top 4 and that’s pushing it. I think he’s extremely slow without the puck and shows absolutely no desire to hustle when chasing the puck on the powerplay.

      To TOR: Luke Schenn 🙂 , Max Talbot
      To PHI: Cody Franson, pick, prospect

      If the issue is money, why not just pay Franson? Adding Talbot is just going to hurt you next year when you need to pay Kessel and Phaneuf. I like the addition of adding Talbot, but that’s another 1.7 on the books.

      • Gambo says:


        Haha none of the proposals were really serious. I always need to have a Schenn to Toronto proposal, i’m still torn.

        Franson fits a need for NYR and Girardi fits a need for TOR, however Girardi is the far better player. You’re right, a trade like that couldn’t work this season, but i was just entertaining the idea. You don’t realize how jealous i am of the rangers having Macdonagh and Girardi. Two of the game’s top defensive defensemen imo, Staal could be added in there too, however i’ve never been a fan of his.

  5. DannyLeafs says:

    So the Leafs have about 4.9 million left to re-sign Franson and Kadri before a demotion.

    There will likely be at least a body at no less than $550k being sent down, but that still leaves barely more than 5.5 million.

    Ideally moving Liles would be massive. I am really starting to hate the decision to buyout Komisarek over Liles. The Leafs could have bought out Liles, then did a Non-Compliance buyout on Komisarek. They would currently have $7.275 million in cap space before sending anybody down, and only be left with 1.5 million of Komi’s deal next year. That would be a much better situation then they face currently.
    Now if Nonis can move Liles and not have to hold back any more than 1 million in cap space, and that turns him into an asset so we get something, its basically all a wash, but right now it really seems necessary to move Liles.

    I wonder what Liles at 2.875 million a year would be worth to a team. Not a bad cap hit, and it could be a steal if he could get back to being a top 4 who can put up 40 or so points logging top pairing PP minutes. It keeps coming back to the Islanders as they should be very concerned with adding a PP quarter back, as I can’t imagine they want to take a step back after making the playoffs last year.

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