Jul 26, 2013, 3:15 PM EST
On Friday, TSN’s Darren Dreger took time away from his summer vacation to suggest the Toronto Maple Leafs may be forced to deal defenseman Cody Franson.
Franson, 25, was one of the NHL’s better bargains last year. He led the Leafs in defenseman scoring (29 points) and tied for sixth-most in the league — only Keith Yandle, Andrei Markov, Ryan Suter, Kris Letang and Norris winner P.K. Subban scored more.
But Franson did it on a one-year, $1.2 million deal.
As such, he’s expected to get a significant raise — Dreger suggests Franson could net $4 million-plus annually — which could be problematic for Toronto.
Leafs GM Dave Nonis has spent aggressively this summer, shelling out $36.75 million to acquire David Clarkson and another $21 million to retain Tyler Bozak (also, nearly $10 million to keep Carl Gunnarson).
While he did get cap relief by buying out Mikhail Grabovski, Nonis doesn’t have much wiggle room for the immediate future.
Namely, the 2013-14 season.
At the time of writing, the Leafs have roughly $6 million in cap space with 20 players on the roster. The biggest x-factor is the new deal needed for Nazem Kadri, the restricted free agent forward that finished second on the team in scoring last season, with 44 points.
There’s also useful defenseman Mark Fraser, who played in 45 games last year and averaged close to 17 minutes a night. He played on a one-year, $600,000 deal last year, and will likely be in line for a small pay bump.
There’s also the question if Toronto can replace Franson internally.
Morgan Rielly, the fifth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, could challenge for a roster spot. He’s too young to play for the AHL Marlies and probably won’t benefit from another year with WHL Moose Jaw, where he was nearly a point-a-game player last year.
Stuart Percy, the club’s first-round pick in 2011 (25th overall), might also push to be with the Leafs. He’s only had a brief taste of AHL experience, but looked solid with the Marlies last season, scoring three points in four games.
But all those decisions are in the future, and Nonis said he has plenty of time to make them.
“It’s July,” Nonis said on Sportsnet 590 on Thursday. “I’m not surprised that [Franson, Kadri and Fraser] are not signed, and we have a lot of time before we have to start worrying about it.”
Nov 21, 2014, 7:14 PM EST
A San Jose draft pick from 2008.
Nov 21, 2014, 6:37 PM EST
Avs call up a trio of players from the AHL.
Nov 21, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
“I really feel bad for him. It appears his parents mismanaged his money.”
Nov 21, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
Pursuant to the “Bona Fide Long-Term Injury Exception” section of the CBA.
Nov 21, 2014, 4:21 PM EST
That’s a guy shoveling snow off his roof in Buffalo.
Nov 21, 2014, 3:43 PM EST
D-man for d-man.
Nov 21, 2014, 3:17 PM EST
Currently out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
Nov 21, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Nov 21, 2014, 2:21 PM EST
Even coach DeBoer is surprised a backup hasn’t started yet.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EST
Veteran Avs forward won’t play Saturday against Carolina.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:22 PM EST
“For us, and our group, it was something that we decided. I’m not going to discuss what we talk about inside of our room.”
Nov 21, 2014, 1:11 PM EST
The comeback bid is about to end.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:17 PM EST
No disrespect to Mike Fisher intended.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:15 PM EST
“Your fingers do have a pulse in them and it does hurt.”
Nov 21, 2014, 11:49 AM EST
As part of a rental storage facility scheme.
Nov 21, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Bit of a Rockford influence on the roster right now.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EST
He, along with Jean Beliveau, are the longest-tenured captains in franchise history.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:25 AM EST
Never a dull moment in Toronto.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:21 AM EST
That’s a marginally higher cap hit than Bobby Ryan and David Krejci will get in 2015-16.
Nov 21, 2014, 9:56 AM EST
They’ll talk about it more next week.
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