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Fraser, Leafs agree to one-year, $1.28 million contract

Jul 30, 2013, 10:18 AM EDT

Mark Fraser Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have to engage in an unpleasant arbitration battle with 26-year-old defenseman Mark Fraser. The two sides made the hearing scheduled for today moot by agreeing to a one-year, $1.28 million contract, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby.

Fraser was asking for $2 million in arbitration while Toronto had countered with $855,000.

The Ottawa, Ontario-native is a big, physical defenseman that doesn’t do a lot offensively. Toronto now has six blueliners signed to one-way contracts, not including Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson, who remains a restricted free agent.

It’s not clear where Fraser will fit with the 2013-14 Maple Leafs, but it’s doubtful that he’ll start the season as more than a third-pairing blueliner.

This deal also gives the Maple Leafs less than $5 million in projected cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Nazem Kadri and Franson. A recent report suggests that Toronto might trade Franson in light of their cap situation.

  1. andrewsabourin13 - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Komarov? Get with the times

  2. aleong11 - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    trade. likes. already. if they keep liles and trade franson i’m gonna be pissed

    • aleong11 - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      *liles

    • andrewsabourin13 - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      PREACH! Totally agree with you brother

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Nonis is a bad GM. he’s already got the leafs tight to the ceiling for what? signing Clarkson and Bozak? Grabo > Bozak and Clarkson isn’t worth 2nd line money and term (46 pts career high, got 20+ goals – once in 6 season, career -30 player on NJ). This guy gets a 5 year extension. makes no sense. now he’s gonna have to trade Franson the same way Nashville had to trade him. he’ll get peanuts back. No one wants Liles. He might get a 3rd rounder or at best a 2nd for Franson. welcome back to the bottom Toronto. You have nowhere to go again except down. Consider this – you have to try and get more points than the Bruins, Habs (who just won the division last year, and now added Briere), Sens (healthy again, not likely to get the same injury situation), and the Red Wings! and that doesn’t include Tampa (which just got a goalchie who can stop a puck) and competing against whoever is in the Metro Div fighting for the wildcard playoff spot! Another 10 years before you might get a sniff at the playoffs. Congrats on signing Nonis… and blowing your cap advantage on spare parts.

      • andrewsabourin13 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        but do you guys think Nonis overpaid for Clarkson? C’mon man, you know Clarkson left money on the table to sign with the Leafs right? if they can sign Kadri and Franson to bridge deals, like MTL did with Subban theyll be fine. And did you forget about Reimer????? The guys a beast… You probably also forgot about JVR, Kessel and Lupu too then, Leafs arent going anywhere

      • 19to77 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        The Leafs said Clarkson left money on the table. That just shows both Clarkson and the Leafs are out of their minds regarding his value. No other team would have just thrown $5m+ and a seven-year term at a 30-year old defensive liability with one good season to show in his career.

        No doubt, the Leafs have some very good players, but Nonis is mismanaging his cap situation and spending money on the wrong things. They don’t need Clarkson half as badly as they need to improve their defense. They’ve got tough guys, they’ve got scorers, they’ve got depth on the wings. Clarkson does nothing for them that they don’t have in spades. It was a bad decision any way you cut it.

        As for Reimer, the only person who seems to have forgotten him is Nonis. Bernier, remember?

      • andrewsabourin13 - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        All im saying is why is everyone counting the Leafs out? I think they proved they can compete last season, and to just count them out because they lost grabo is absurd

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        KaptaanAmurica is an Obvious Troll… People shouldn’t waste their time. The guy knows nothing about hockey.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        Just bc Clarkson supposedly left money on the table doesn’t mean Nonis didn’t overpay for him. Logic flies out the window during the feeding frenzy. If we lived in a world where GMs signed players to sensible contracts based purely on production and skill, Clarkson would never get more than $3 mil and that’s the high end. He’s a glorified grinder. Hartnell, who Clarkson is often compared to, is, according to most, way overpaid at 4.75. But Hartnell has actually earned that figure. He has ten 30+pt seasons (Clarkson- 1), has scored 14+ goals nine times (Clarkson-3), has six 20 goal seasons (Clarkson-1), and two 30 goal seasons (Clarkson-1). And Clarksons 20/30 goals were the same season. Their production isn’t close and Clarkson is making substantially more. Any way you slice, no matter what Clarkson brings to Toronto, his contract is absurd. And it will be an albatross around Nonis’ neck for 7 more years. And it’s already starting to cost them talent (Franson, most likely). Leafs fans will agree after Clarkson averages 15goals and 30pts thru the life of the deal.

    • withseidelinn - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      He has a modified NTC, might be a bit more difficult than most people think. Hope he can be moved though.

  3. ctcork - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    We could use Franson in Tampa. Anyone wanna take Malone off our hands?

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      no

  4. 19to77 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    If they lose Franson because that Clarkson contract pushed them too close to the cap ceiling, I’m going to flip a desk. Probably Dave Nonis’ desk.

  5. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Good. Not a bad price either.

    Need to move Liles to be able to afford Kadri and Franson, then the team is set for the season to start.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      NO ONE wants Liles. he cleared waivers. Nonis will have to move Franson for nothing, just like Nashville.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        Keep living that dream, Leaf hater.

        Liles never had to clear waivers. If he did he’d be with the Marlies not the Leafs.

        BTW, Komisarek actually went through the same waiver process you think Liles went though and someone actually signed Komisarek. Trading Liles isn’t an issue… unless you’re a braindead Leaf-hater.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        I thought he cleared waivers at the same time as komisarrk.my mistake, but the premise is still solid.you don’t address the point that no one wants liles at an almost 4 mill cap hit. I’m a realist not a hater or troll.some leafs fans can’t brook an honest and realistic assessment of their favorite team. You are the one who is un realistic about the leafs chances.get used to it.no playoffs.oh that’s right you are used to it.last year was the exception.

      • timsabourin - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        while some leafs fans are unrealistic about the leafs chances, i think you belong to the unrealistic haters at the other end of the spectrum who are unrealistic about the leafs chances in a totally different way. you are unwilling to even entertain the notion that the leafs, as they stand right now, have a talented group of young players. sure, there are some cap issues looming but there are also several combinations of roster moves that can be made to keep kadri and franson whilst remaining under the cap.

      • dueman - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        I agree Tim, we both know that Captain Troll above has nothing worth while to say. He’s just trying to get someone to engage with him by spewing garbage. Nobody can argue about what’s going to happen because nobody knows what’s going to happen. If Captain Troll knew the future he wouldn’t be sitting in his Mom’s basement, spewing garbage at people on the internet, just so he can pretend he has friends. I’m sure Nonis will work out the cap situation and get everybody signed. He does still have half the summer to do what he has to do. I believe it’s just a negotiation tactic, but if the rumors about Franson are true, that he really does want 4+mil? Then at least you know that we’ll get a good return in a trade for him. The Leafs have plenty of good defense prospects worth looking at if need be.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        @Kaptaan, I’ve read your comments. They don’t come from a point of view that sees the Leafs objectively in anyway. To call yourself a non-hater is a joke.

        If Komisarek can find a new home, there won’t be any problems finding one for Liles. Unless you have connections to all 29 other GMs, i’d love to know how you know “no one” wants him. You have nothing to support that claim. It’s just your Leaf-hating opinion.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I’ve dealt with my share of Leafs fans to know they are totally unrealistic. if i don’t know anything about Liles and he’s traded without the leafs keeping salary, taking a bad contract back, or some other way of ameliorating his cap hit then fine you’ll be right. If they can’t trade Liles and have to move Franson, I expect a mea culpa and a written apology from you Lupy and your fine feathered friends.

        I’m not a hater, just realistic and it may come across as being vehemently so, but that’s only because the Leafs fans rose coloured glasses are so annoying that I may engage in more overt and less diplomatic discourse as a result.

        I also notice phillyfanatic is coming to a similar analysis in less provocative tone. The basis of the argument is the same. Nonis has put the Leafs in a cap bind.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:35 PM

        “I’ve dealt with my share of Leafs fans to know they are totally unrealistic”
        You can’t even start a paragraph without an obvious lie.

        Love how you expect an apology because you suddenly flip flopped on the issue. You’re far from realistic… and I couldn’t care less about your excuses for being a d bag. You’re just a d bag. That won’t change, it never does with trolls.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        Really? You know how many leafs fans I’ve come across in Toronto and the GTA? you’re the douche bag jerk.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:32 AM

        Whitewashing the entire fanbase as the same person… that’s all the proof I needed that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Obvious troll is obvious.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        So all the leafs fans planning a parade every year are realistic? The fans who even now think this team as constructed can win the cup are realistic?

  6. zdeb93 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    About time he got signed, I was getting tired of seeing that same pic over and over again

  7. timsabourin - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    trade kuli and his $2.8MM. guaran there’s more takers for him than liles.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Leafs have too many Dmen, they don’t need a hole in the forwards lines.

    • timsabourin - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      maybe so, but I would rather keep franson and trade kuli. i’d be willing to slot colborne in there, maybe biggs if he ever gets his act together. my point is, franson has got to be here going forward.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        I’m not disagreeing about Franson… We’re talking about Kulemin vs Liles… as per your comment.

      • timsabourin - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        i guess my point actually was that the liles v kulemin choice really isn’t the issue, as long as you move someone to free up cap space for franson.

    • dueman - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Can’t get rid of Kuli. He’s an important part of our shut down line, and can score a few.

  8. phillyphanatic77 - Jul 30, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    This signing makes it all the more likely that Franson will be moved. Unless they can dump Liles on someone, but I don’t think that will be easy with 3 years left on his deal. The other day on the Franson trade talk page there were Leafs fans who were positive they’d keep all 3 RFAs (Franson, Fraser, Kadri) bc Nonis said so. And I then did a quick, very conservative estimate- Franson 4.2, Kadri 2.8, Fraser around 900k… and that still put the Leafs over the cap (7.9 versus 6.1 in space). With Fraser getting well above 900k, signing Franson becomes that much more unlikely. And they’d be lucky to get Kadri under 3 on a two year bridge deal. This deal leaves them with just under $5 mil in cap room.

    It seems most Leafs fans don’t want to blame Nonis if Franson gets moved out of necessity, but the finger must be pointed at him. If they hadn’t given Bozak (barely a 2nd C) that huge deal or Clarkson that albatross they’d be keeping Franson. And not only that, the Leafs have to re-sign Kessel, Phaneuf, Gardiner, Bolland, Kulemin, McClement, Fraser (again), Ranger, and Reimer next year. Now they may not attempt to re-sign everyone, but that’s still an expensive list. I’d say the Leafs have definitely improved this summer but it may cost them some talent.

    • dueman - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      You call 4.2mil conservative? The guy had a lucky year offensively (25 assists). You’re calling all the other signings ridiculous, but for Franson’s 1 decent half a season, 4.2mil is conservative. That makes no sense at all! Franson will sign at or under 3mil.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        It’s ridiculous that you think Franson will accept a deal under 3 when he’s asking 4+… take a look at the NHL right now, midlevel players are being paid like superstars did five years ago. Bogosian, who put up a whopping 14pts last season just got paid $5+. First off, Franson is much closer to unrestricted free agency, which means his asking price will be higher than an RFA. Secondly, he just put up 29pts in 45 games. He was in the top-10 for points among defensemen. And he’s had solid production throughout his career. Defenders are the premium position in the NHL. And Franson is a 6’5″, right handed, offensive defenseman, who is just about to enter his prime (and UFA years). If you think he’s gonna sign for 2.5-3/per you’re in for a rude awakening. The kid produced more points than Tyler Bozak this past season. And you’re GM just gave him 4.2/per. Franson is worth atleast 4mil. If I’m wrong I’ll eat crow, but I think you’ve completely misread the NHLs current economic landscape.

      • dueman - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        We’ll find out soon enough….

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