The Maple Leafs returned to the ice Friday from a three-day Christmas break with a bit of a bang with rumours that Dion Phaneuf’s contract extension is imminent.
“No comment,” Phaneuf said when asked about the buzz on social media that he is “very, very close” to an extension that will keep him in Toronto long term.
Nothing appeared imminent Friday, but the expectation is that the deal will be unveiled by the time the club hits the Winter Classic on Wednesday.
Phaneuf, the Leafs captain, is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent next season; the club locked up Phil Kessel earlier this season to avoid a similar situation.
Now, it appears the club is doing the same for its captain, ensuring two key players remain with the organization for the next several years.
It’s widely believed Phaneuf will pull down an extension worth $7 million per season over seven years.
The dollars and terms of the contract — which have long been speculated on — have given rise to mixed reaction fro...