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Fraser and Maple Leafs are far apart on salary

Jul 28, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Mark Fraser Getty Images

Restricted free agent Mark Fraser and the Toronto Maple Leafs have differing opinions on what he should be paid next season.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Fraser is asking for $2 million while the Leafs are hoping to sign him for $855,000. If the two sides can’t agree on a deal, they’re set to go to arbitration on Tuesday.

So far this summer we haven’t seen any cases get that far, but the situation the Leafs are in could make things uncomfortable. If an arbitrator splits the difference, Fraser is looking around $1.4 million next season. An award like that would also mean the Leafs can’t walk away from it either.

While Toronto doesn’t have to worry about arbitration with Nazem Kadri, they do have to get him re-signed and will likely have to give him a raise to do that. Adding to that, if the team wanted to retain Cody Franson, something they may not do, it’s possible he could land a deal in the range of $3-$4 million per season. If that happens, then Toronto’s cap situation gets dicey fast.

Time for GM Dave Nonis to show why he was given a five-year extension.

  1. 19to77 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    He’s not worth what he’s asking. $1.5m max.

  2. kane987245 - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    He should resign. No one is going to offer him 2 mil elsewhere. He deserves at least 1 Mil though leafs. Make a compromise and sign him around 1.2 mil that includes a bonus. If he doesnt accept then, he will realize how many teams are willing to give him that as well.

  3. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Of all the off-seasons to gouge a team for more money. The one when the cap goes down and there is next to no cap space (anywhere) is the dumbest one to do it.

    $2M for a guy who has never played a full 82 game season is nuts. Fraser should be signing a 1 or 2 year bridge deal. Get a couple seasons on the resume, then he could easily get $3-4M if he keeps playing the way he does.

    Waiting until next year would make so much more sense than gouging the team now. For one, the cap will go back up (at least $5M. Revenues were very good last season). Also the Tucker and Armstrong’s buyouts will be over with, which is another $2M in cap space.

    • withseidelinn - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Exactly. I never understand why some guys insist on making it extremely tough for their teams to resign other key players. If I was Fraser I would be happy to be part of a great up and coming squad, and would consider a modest raise in order to be a part of the team in the future. He needs to realize that Franson and Kadri are key guys for the Leafs and by him asking for 2 mil which would result in an arbitration salary of 1.4, he could really complicate the team’s future. I just hope they deal Liles in order to get the 3.8 mil in space he’s taking up.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        I don’t necessarily blame these players, an NHL player’s career is only so long, they need to maximize what they can when they can. Yes taking less this year sounds good to fans and the team, but it’s also a huge risk for the player, one catastrophic injury and his career is over. Any of us would likely do the same thing if we were in their position.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Do you take less money at your job?

      • sunderlanding - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        I would if I was making a million dollars to play a game I love. Let’s not forget that these guys ain’t exactly collecting garbage.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        RIght, this is much more difficult than collecting garbage. It’s also not a game at the pro level.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        It’s always a game.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        It is if you’re a 4 year old but if you understand the amount of physical and mental work that goes into the sport, it’s much harder than your average job

      • sunderlanding - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        That doesn’t stop it from being a game. It just means it’s a really hard game.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        @hockeyflow33,
        Go ask your boss to double your salary, even though you’ve never worked a full year. Just demand it… Let me know how it goes.

        Fraser deserves a raise, and the Leafs are offering him a raise, but he’s the one asking for WAY more than he’s worth at this point. He was solid last year, but it was only a 48 game season. Fraser has never played a full NHL season. He needs to do more than one decent half-season to prove he’s worth that kind of money.

      • withseidelinn - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        If I had a good half year at a new company yeah I might expect a bit of a raise, but not over triple what I previously made. Your point is irrelevant.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:09 PM

        You’re allowed to ask for whatever you want. The window to make legitimate money is very narrow so why not shoot for the stars in your requests?

        I’m not sure why my point is irrelevant since I gave you a direct comparison.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:50 AM

        Never said your point was irrelevant.

        I’m just saying if you try to highball someone with contract work they’ll usually go with someone else. Someone cheaper.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        They aren’t hiring a plumber

  4. thompsonatl - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Fraser wouldn’t start on 80% of the league’s starting rosters. Not like he is cracking the deepest defense lineup in the league. He is a horrible skater and is slow to react. 2 million is a joke. He ought to fire his agent and counter offer for around 1 million.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Horrible skater and slow to react, sounds like you’re describing Phaneuf.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Keep in mind Fraser’s ridiculously high offer, and the Leafs’ ridiculously low offer are all part of the arbitration process. Haggling 101.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      His agent has a contractual obligation to get him the highest dollar amount possible unless his client states otherwise. The fact that you think he should fire his agent because the agent is trying to get him more money is ridiculous

  5. mistercue62 - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    I have to agree with hockeyflow33; Fraser hasn’t played long enough on an NHL level with this organization to justify the kind of $ that he’s been asking for, particularly in a cash-strapped, financially tenuous offseason like this one! His deal with the Leafs for $1.275million may not sound like a loton the surface, however it does have an immediate impact on the team’s ability to re-sign Cody Franson, a far more coveted, experienced and talented defenseman. In fact, ever since this arbitration process first began I’ve been worried about losing Franson. People don’t seem to realize just how talented and valuable this guy is! I’ve read several stupid, stridently uninformed comments about Franson such as “I hope they keep him. He re-invented himself last season”. Franson NEVER “re-invented” or “rediscovered” his game last season; he was always a great defenseman who had the misfortune a few years ago of being mis-evaluated and subsequently placed in the idiot Ron Wilson’s dog-house. Whenever he did get the occasional smattering of ice-time, the buffoon Wilson routinely played him on his wrong wing in order to accommodate Mike Komisarek! The only difference this past season was how he was used. Carlyle recognized the guy’s obvious talent and actually gave him the ice-time that he’d been patiently awaiting for years (and on his natural side of the ice!)

    Unfortunately, recent rumors suggest that it’s in fact Franson and not Liles that the Leafs are currently shopping due to financial restraints and the fact that between the two of them, Franson would most certainly yeild the greater return. The problem is that defensrmen of Franson’s talent and pedigree are in critically short supply of late in the NHL; if the Leafs let him go, they’ll soon regret it!

    Thanks for nothing, Fraser!!

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