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RFA Franson agrees to one-year, $2 million contract

Sep 26, 2013, 8:55 AM EDT

Cody Franson Getty Images

With the Toronto Maple Leafs’ regular season opener mere days away, restricted free agent Cody Franson has finally inked a one-year, $2 million contract, according to Sportsnet.

Franson, 26, went into this summer with four straight 20-plus point seasons under his belt. Of course, that accomplishment was most noteworthy in the shortened campaign when he scored four goals and registered 25 assists in 45 games.

In the short-term, this signing makes it less likely that 19-year-old top prospect Morgan Rielly will be one of the defensemen to make the team’s opening game roster. As it is, Toronto now has seven blueliners inked to one-way contracts, not including Jake Gardiner. This deal also puts the Maple Leafs in a somewhat difficult cap situation, but at the same time, Franson’s cap hit is about as low as they could have reasonably hoped for.

In the long-term, the Maple Leafs inability to ink Franson to a long-term contract could prove to be costly. Franson will have arbitration rights next summer and could command a sizable raise if he has another strong season.

For now though, Franson is just happy that this is behind him.

“This is my dream place to play,” said Franson. “I grew up a Leafs fan. We’ve got a lot of unfinished business as a team and I feel like we’re moving in the right direction. It’s obviously something I want to be a part of.”

  1. hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Score one for Franson. He took low money, but didn’t get blackballed into a multi-year contract at that money.

    • sunderlanding - Sep 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      That was always the deal. The Leafs wanted a two year deal at 2.5 – 3 or a one year at 2.

  2. canadianguest - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Good signing, but now they are over the cap. It’s going to be interesting seeing how teams will get their salaries under the cap before the start of the season.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      I think they’re ok. They’re slightly over $1M above the cap. That includes Trevor Smith ($550k) and Korby Holzer ($787k) who will be the two sent back to the AHL once the season gets going. If they send Liles down instead of Holzer they can clear up $925k in cap space. Either way, they should be able to clear $1.3 to 1.5M in space.

      • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        He also said in his speech yesterday that one of their defensemen are going to be going, because they have too many, but they haven’t made a decision on who yet. So more than likely a trade is on the horizon as well.

      • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        When I said he, I meant Nonis.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Hopefully he’s talking about Liles. Clearing that $3.8M off the books would help.

  3. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Good deal for both. Glad Franson was willing to wait a year to get his big payday.

  4. 950003cups - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Wow. There goes all the “Clarkson just cost the Leafs Franson” as if his 10 game suspension was gonna hamper the team’s cap. Now they have from January 1, 2014 to extend him.

  5. andrewsabourin13 - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Where are all haters who said they wouldn’t be able sign Franson and Kadri? Nonis put in work on those fools

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