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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Dion Phaneufs contract extension wasnt a

 
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Dołączył: 11 Kwi 2019
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PostWysłany: 28 Sie 2019 08:03    Temat postu: ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Dion Phaneufs contract extension wasnt a Odpowiedz z cytatem

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Dion Phaneufs contract extension wasnt a surprise, thanks in part to HBOs "24/7" reality series. "It was a little bit of a bad-kept secret at the end of it," the Toronto Maple Leafs captain said Tuesday after the new agreement was announced. That Phaneuf was worth US$49 million over seven years to the Leafs was also no secret. The teams No. 1 defenceman plays every situation for Toronto which makes him arguably the most irreplaceable player on the roster. "He plays some pretty tough minutes, and his plus-minus has gone in the right direction playing those minutes, against the best players, starting in his own end, most defensive zone faceoffs, all those things," general manager Dave Nonis said. "And hes done that, and hes welcomed it, I think hes improved at it." Phaneuf has a long way to go before hes considered among the elite captains in franchise history, but the 28-year-old Edmonton native fits the teams current needs perfectly. No one on the Leafs plays more minutes (24:21 a game), and his four goals are the most on the blue- line. He plays more on the power play than anyone else and more on the penalty kill than anyone except for defensive centre Jay McClement. Hes not the same player the Leafs acquired from the Calgary Flames in early 2010. "I definitely feel that my game has grown with experience and playing in the league," said Phaneuf, who was understandably all smiles at his Michigan Stadium news conference on the day of Winter Classic practices. "You grow as a player, and Ive learned a lot of things over my time since Ive started, and I feel Im a better player today than I definitely was when I started and in my time in Calgary, thats for sure." Phaneuf has developed into someone Nonis considers a "pillar" the Leafs can build around. So much of what they do on the ice is built around him, and if he were to get injured there isnt a defenceman who possesses the ability to fill his skates. But Nonis insisted that wasnt the reason the Leafs ponied up and signed Phaneuf, who would have been an unrestricted free agent July 1. "We signed Dion to this deal because he deserved it," Nonis said. "Hes going to play at this level or beyond, I feel, for seven years, again, maybe beyond that. Its not that you dont have anyone to replace Dion, its that hes done enough to prove to us that he is a player that is near the top of the league in terms of how he stacks up against the top defencemen. ... "Its not that we dont have anyone to replace him. I think if thats why we were signing him, wed be making a mistake." On the ice, Phaneuf makes mistakes. He has an element to his game that Nonis acknowledged that includes taking chances to jump up in the play or lay a hit on an opponent. Part of that is what has made Phaneuf such a polarizing player in the eyes of fans. He has shown plenty of flaws, but ultimately hes a big, minute-logging defenceman who provides a mix of offence (four goals, 11 assists) and physicality. "Dions always going to have a little bit of risk to his game, but I believe hes lowered that," Nonis said. "Hes taken less big chances, less risky pinches, he still likes the big hit but hes not running at people the way he did early on. All those things are just a function of maturity." Phaneuf has matured into not just a better defenceman but a better leader. This is his fourth season as captain. "Ive definitely grown into the role, and Ive learned a lot," Phaneuf said. "Id be lying if I sat up here and said I cant. Im very comfortable in the role." The Leafs were comfortable enough with Phaneuf in that role that they rewarded him handsomely with this deal. Phaneuf will make US$8 million in each of the first two seasons, then $7.5 million, $7 million, $6.5 million, $6.5 million and then $5.5 million in 2020-21. Nonis said hes not concerned about the length of the deal. "Dion was going to get seven years regardless. If we werent going to pay him, hes going to get it (in free agency)," Nonis said. "I think hell play beyond the term of his contract. Hes not in his 30s. Hes in his 20s. His game is rounding out and its getting better. I dont think theres any reason why he cant play the seven years and then look for another contract." Theres no guarantee Phaneuf plays the entire contract with the Leafs, given that he has only a limited no-trade clause. Nonis doesnt believe in giving players full no-movement clauses, so Phaneuf didnt get one. None of the players Toronto has signed long-term -- forwards Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, David Clarkson, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul -- have full no-trade clauses in their contracts. "The core is always going to be somewhat movable," Nonis said. "Its not locked in stone for eight years that these guys are all going to be here. We signed them because we believe theyre part of a winning team, that they can be part of something, but it doesnt mean that were locked into anybody." The Leafs arent locked into Phaneuf, but this deal represents a major commitment, even with the salary cap expected to rise above $71 million next year and continue to increase. Phaneuf locked himself in rather than test the unrestricted-free-agent market, and though he thought about that possibility, he called this an easy decision. "I really believe that were building something special," he said. "That is a very big decision, and one that Im very happy with in the way that I chose to go." Peja Stojakovic Jersey . Chris Heisey followed with a two-run triple and Billy Hamilton added an RBI double, all but sealing Cincinnatis fourth straight victory and seventh in eight games. Brandon Phillips, celebrating his 33rd birthday, hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth for the Reds before pinch-hitter Buster Posey tied it with an RBI double off hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom half. Peja Stojakovic Kings Jersey . Johan Franzen had two goals and two assists, Gustav Nyquist a goal and three assists and David Legwand a goal and two assists in the Red Wings 7-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. http://www.nbakingsonline.com/Authentic-Marvin-Bagley-III-Kings-Jersey/ .ca. Hi Kerry, Thursday nights Bruins-Blackhawks game had a goal by Patrice Bergeron initially waved off by the referee, but video review clarified it was a good goal. DeMarcus Cousins Kings Jersey . -- Jacksonville Jaguars rookie receiver Marqise Lee has agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth more than $5 million. DeAaron Fox Jersey . The 18-year-old Januzaj has made his breakthrough at United this season, including scoring twice in a 2-1 win over Sunderland before the recent international break. His performances have sparked a debate about where his international future lies. TORONTO -- The family of a Canadian skicross racer killed two years ago at a World Cup event feels vindicated now that sport authorities no longer blame him for the tragedy and instead have made safety improvements to course design, their lawyer said Monday. Lawyer Tim Danson said the family of Nik Zoricic feels his legacy has become something positive and to be celebrated. "We were not prepared to accept that Nik was responsible for his own death," Danson told The Canadian Press. "We just wanted the truth to be acknowledged." In the immediate aftermath of his fatal crash at an event in Grindelwald, Switzerland, on March 10, 2012, ski officials angered the family and others in the skiing community by suggesting Zoricic, 29, was to blame for his death. The family responded by arguing the death was "entirely avoidable" and blasted the course finish line for being a "death trap." In a letter to his parents this month, the International Ski Federation (FIS) called Zoricic a "talented, experienced, and skilled" World Cup skier who did not take unnecessary risks. "It would therefore not be right to describe his accident as a freak accident or pilot error, the federations president and secretary general wrote. The letter further states that the federation has updated its safety guidelines and beefed up the staff and experts who help organizers construct a course and its safety measures. In skicross, several racers hurtle down a mountain at the same time, making jumps and taking curves on the way. Zoricic, who grew up in Toronto, had raced on the World Cup circuit for more than three years and was competing in his 36th event in Grindelwaldd when he was killed at the finish line of a tight three-way race.dddddddddddd Video showed he was going as fast as 90 km/h when he veered to the right after the final jump, landing about a metre to the right of the official course line in "crud" rather than on a groomed shoulder. He snagged safety netting and tumbled into hard-packed snow, smashing his head. Among more stringent guidelines now in place is one calling for a much greater distance between the finish-line post and fencing. Hard objects, such as large mounds of packed snow, will no longer be allowed near the finish. "The fact that were making these significant changes is that there really are lessons learned from his death that will hopefully mean this kind of tragedy will never happen again," Danson said. The International Ski Federation also said it would commit $250,000 over five years to the Nik Zoricic Foundation, which aims to improve skicross safety. Neither Zoricics father Bebe, himself a veteran ski coach, nor his mother Silvia were immediately available to comment. Danson said it was a "difficult time" for them given the second anniversary of their sons death, but said they were "delighted" their son had been vindicated. At the Sochi Olympics last month, Canadian skicross racers wore denim-style ski pants as a tribute to their late teammate, who was known for wearing jeans on the mountain. Zoricic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and moved with his father to Canada at age 5. He raced on the World Cup circuit for more than three years, placing fifth in the 2010-11 World Cup standings and eighth in the seasons world championship at Deer Valley, Utah. ' ' '
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