December 31, 2013 / 6:53 PM / 4 years ago

Maple Leafs sign captain Phaneuf to seven-year contract

(Reuters) - The Toronto Maple Leafs locked up a key member of their defense corps by signing captain Dion Phaneuf to a seven-year contract extension, the National Hockey League team said on Tuesday.

Dec 31, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf at a press conference during practice the day before the Winter Classic hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team but local reports said the contract is worth $49 million.

“Dion is our team leader and has been a pillar in our building process,” Maple Leafs General Manger Dave Nonis said in a statement. “He has proven to be a very durable and reliable defenseman in all facets of the game.”

Phaneuf, 28, began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames but was traded to Toronto in 2010. The former first round draft pick has 110 goals and 245 assists in 630 career games.

He has 15 points in 39 games this season for a Maple Leafs team that is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue

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