Cody Franson Inks 1yr Deal With Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs fans awoke to some great news Thursday as it was announced that Cody Franson and the team had come to terms on a new deal. Franson missed training camp and majority of the pre-season negotiating a new deal, a 1 year $2M contract. Franson developed into a rock solid top 4 defenseman for the club and proved his above average offensive abilities last season.
Franson skated in 45 games collecting 4 goals and 25 assists for 29 points (tied for 4th in scoring by a defenseman). Cody Franson’s career in Toronto started out on a rough patch as he made a constant healthy scratch by former Toronto coach Ron Wilson. After inking a last minute deal to begin the 2013 lockout season Franson proved himself under head coach Randy Carlyle and developed himself into a reliable option down the stretch.
If Franson matches his play from last season the $2 M price tag will look like an absolute steal, however Franson still has arbitration rights heading into next season, his last as a RFA. Franson joins an already crowded Leafs blueline with Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Fraser, Ranger and Liles as bonafide NHL defenseman.
John-Michael Liles appears to be the odd man out yet again though with his contract do not expect many teams willing to acquire him. The Franson signing almost certainly bumps Morgan Reilly from the roster, the 5th overall pick will have to return to junior if cut from the team.
After months of speculation and tough talks GM Dave Nonis was able to retain Kadri and Franson on the basis of bridge contracts, while also picking up speedy winger Mason Raymond. With another 1 year contract it should once again motivate Cody Franson to have a strong season and finally get the type of commitment he feels he is worth. The Maple Leafs are a much improved team with Franson back in the fold, as they look to build on their success from last season.