Franson wants 1 year, but the Leafs aren’t having it

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Photo: Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

An interesting development in the Cody Franson contract talks today, one that seems to explain the reported desire from Franson’s camp to sign a one-year contract for the second summer in a row. Darren Dreger is reporting that the Leafs are not willing to give Franson the one-year contract he’s asking for as the negotiations sit idle with camp underway.

If Dreger’s information is accurate, this is an interesting case where the Leafs appear to actually want to bridge a player to unrestricted free agency rather than renegotiate with him as an RFA in an off-season where the team has a whack of important players on expiring contracts. The fear on Nonis’ behalf is that a one-year contract puts the Leafs in a situation where they could easily lose Franson next off-season, when the Leafs are vulnerable (may not be able to afford him, and he could file for arbitration).

It could be that the Leafs’ glut of defence prospects makes Franson tradable in a season. Or it could be that he cements his place in the team’s core. Either way, having him locked up past this season at a cheap number may be preferred in the Leafs’ case, whether they are trading him or keeping him.

Franson’s position seems to be that he cannot receive the salary he desires given the current cap ceiling and the Leafs’ tight cap situation in particular. He rather not lock himself in at the projected $2.5 million figure the Leafs are offering for the next two years. Instead, he would like to take another one year deal, work at continuing his upward trajectory from last season over 82 games, and negotiate from a stronger bargaining position next off season.

More simply put, Franson may not want a two-year bridge into unrestricted free agency because, as it stands, he can’t get the salary he wants for the next two years. Franson hopes to bring his first big contract one year closer by signing the one year deal.

This is a 6’5 defenceman who really emerged offensively and added some snarl to his game last season. He’s a piece the Leafs are kind of counting on to fill out their top 4 next season. We’ll see if Nonis can patiently win this negotiation as he did with Kadri. The likes of Morgan Rielly coming to camp gunning for a spot and the cap space, and Paul Ranger fighting for minutes as well, may help his cause as far the club’s leverage goes.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • JR from Halifax

    If true, can someone explain why Nonis and Co. would not want a one yr deal?

  • lieffan

    JR from Halifax .. read the blog?

  • JR from Halifax

    @lieffan JR from Halifax No

  • lieffan

    JR from Halifax You came into the comment section to ask a questions that is answered by the blog you are commenting on. This is fascinating.

  • gunner_36

    JR from Halifax Can you read this much of it?
    “This is an interesting case where the  appear to actually want to bridge a player to unrestricted free agency rather than renegotiate with him as an RFA in an off-season where the team has a whack of important players on expiring contracts.”

  • 4evrblue

    Kadri is signed.
    NNNNNEEEEEEEXXXXXXXXTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

  • JR from Halifax

    @lieffan JR from Halifax I was unable to open that link from my blackberry after trying three times. I assume there is more info there. Don’t find it fascinating though.

  • Canadian kid

    I’m beginning to wonder if we do end up dealing him…I really hope we can get him for 2 years. We can’t afford to have someone else to sign next OS. He’d be in the same boat – his contract would most certainly come after Phil and Dion. I don’t know if that idea is a good one for him either.

  • Jimmy Keating

    JR from Halifax 
    I find it fucking fascinating you skip over a blog that explains the question you asked in the comments section. 
    Do you realize how dump you look? Read for fuck sakes.

  • Canadian kid

    Jimmy Keating JR from Halifax – Crap…I wanted to get a reply in before the edit….lol

  • mcloki

    @lieffan JR from Halifax He is from Halifax.

  • dlb eh

    sounds about right.
    all the work Nonis had to do this summer might seem like a drop in the bucket compared to what’s looming next summer.  wow.

  • Canadian kid

    4evrblue – Could be interesting if that next is not Franson but Raymond. I really hope not but I’m wondering…

  • lieffan

    JR from Halifax You didn’t have to open the link?

  • Canadian kid

    mcloki JR from Halifax – A damn good party city.

  • Canadian kid

    dlb eh – I really hope we get Dion done during the season or in TC. That way his questions will be long dealt with when we’re making our playoff run (knock on wood). Phil is gonna be Phil…we’ll work with him after the season. But to take out one main cog would be ideal.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Poor JR from Halifax.
    Yeah, to restate – Dreger’s information is that the Leafs do not want to add another significant expiring contract to the pile for next off season.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    mcloki JR from Halifax 
    We’ll speak more slowly from now on.

  • mcloki

    Alec Brownscombe He deserves it come on. lol

  • MaxwellHowe

    Leafs should take the 1 year deal.  A lot can happen in a year.  At the very least, Nonis will have a full 82 games to assess everyone and move on from there.  It makes next summer harder, yes, but I want the best team on the ice now now now.  Now.  Waited 46 years, I want the best team out there now.

  • mcloki

    dlb eh he’ll have more cap to play with.

  • dlb eh

    Alec Brownscombe 
    some of us have been less than forgiving tonight.
    went to a fight and a hockey blog broke out.

  • JR from Halifax

    Alec Brownscombe Yes Alec, thanks I read that part in the blog. I assumed the link has more detailed info. Having been a reader here since 2008 it’s not uncommon to get the teaser in the blog with  more detailed information in the links.

  • 4evrblue

    MaxwellHowe I have never liked hearing “I’ve waited X amount of time, I want to see a winner NOW”
    It’s that mindset that has had us all waiting so long in the first place

  • mcloki

    dlb eh Alec Brownscombe It’s training camp for the commenters as well. For some of us our sarcasm has waned over the summer.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    JR from Halifax Alec Brownscombe Well, that sentence is pretty much the long and short of it. Nonis wants to get him locked in for 2 years or he could easily lose him next off season.

  • dlb eh

    mcloki dlb eh 
    lots of work.  hopefully lots of good problems.
    if some of those Marlies can be ready for the NHL next year he can save some money on those ELCs.
    look over the list of all the skilled players, pick the ones you want to lead the team, move the rest of the assets out for new assets.
    let’s keep our fingers crossed the players keep up their end of the bargain and play well ad stay healthy.

  • JR from Halifax

    Alec Brownscombe JR from Halifax That’s what I took away from the row of acerbic comments below

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Good piece on Ranger from Bruce Arthur at NP. 
    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/09/11/toronto-maple-leafs-paul-ranger-couldnt-be-happier-with-shot-at-return-to-nhl/

  • .JVR.

    Fuck sakes Nonis, give him the one year deal and then start negotiating a new long-term deal for him as soon as possible!

  • dlb eh

    DeclanK 
    we did that on the last thread.  why you trying to hijack Alec’s piece here?  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON around here.  come on!?!

  • dlb eh

    .JVR. 
    1 year, 900k

  • Burtonboy

    mcloki What does being from Halifax have to do with it ?

  • MaxwellHowe

    4evrblue MaxwellHowe Should I be hoping the Leafs lose now? Should I be hoping the team is second rate now?  A little confused

  • DWCMLHS

    This makes no sense. Why wouldn’t Franson want a 2-year deal? He’d have to wait an extra year to really cash in, but he’d have a ton of leverage as an impending UFA.

  • dlb eh

    JR from Halifax Alec Brownscombe
    Phook, acerbic: “sharp and forthright” (thanks, Google)

  • .JVR.

    DWCMLHS 
    The thing is, if he got a two year deal, instead of a one year deal, he would be an UFA and have the leverage to sign a much larger deal.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    DWCMLHS Tired of waiting for his big deal, I guess.
    Up until today I never understood why he wouldn’t want the 2 year deal.
    Maybe Dreger is wrong, but Franson said himself at the Leafs charity golf tournament “I’m looking at a one year deal due to the Leafs cap situation.”
    He can’t get the money he  wants the next two years and is tired of waiting, is my guess.

  • 4evrblue

    MaxwellHowe 4evrblue you should be hoping they continue to show patience in order to build a true contender. If that means demanding a 2 year deal for Franson, which in turn could mean the difference between keeping him or losing him next summer then you should side with management

  • dlb eh

    .JVR. DWCMLHS 
    i think he could earn a big contract after one more good year.  i think waiting the extra year is as likely to hurt his next deal as it is to help.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    -Keon- I dunno if it’s that ridiculous?

  • dlb eh

    TheCanucksnaphook dlb eh 
    save the effort for attacking others’ opinions instead

  • gunner_36

    -Keon- For thinking about his future and trying to maximize his pay?

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    .JVR. He has his work cut out for him next year. So many contracts to sign. 
    Bend over, Bell/Rogers.

  • dlb eh

    Burtonboy mcloki 
    are.  you from Halifax?

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    dlb eh DeclanK 
    I didn’t see it on the last thread. Mybad.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    dlb eh DeclanK 
    Also: Fuck Alec and the horse he rode in on.

  • mcloki

    Burtonboy mcloki Old Sienfeld Joke. Oh you’re from Halifax. I’ll talk slower

  • gunner_36

    DeclanK dlb eh Thanks for posting here though, I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. It was a good read.

  • MaxwellHowe

    4evrblue MaxwellHowe Again, a lot can happen in the next year.  I think Nonis is being too clever by half.