Toronto Maple Leafs’ Cody Franson Signs 1 Year Deal

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Cody Franson
Cody Franson

When the Hockey World woke up today, there was some good news if you are a Leaf fan.

James van Riemsdyk summed it up best:

David Nonis took care of his last contract problem by signing defenceman Cody Franson, 26, to a one-year contract for $2-million. Franson reported to  Maple Leafs training camp Thursday morning and played with Mark Fraser.

Franson was looking for a longer, multi-year deal in excess of $4-million per year to reflect the fact he played his way to the top of the Leafs’ defence corps last season. He led the defencemen in points with 29 in 45 games and added six in seven playoff games. He finished 7th in points production for all NHL Defenseman. 

However, Nonis was cash strapped after big signings of: Bozak ($4.2m), Clarkson ($5.2m), Kadri ($2.9M) and other smaller signings (Orr, Colborne, Fraser).

Kadri also wanted a big-money deal but finally accepted what is known as a “bridge contract” for two years at $2.9-million per year. Franson initially would not budge, then later said he would take a one-year deal for about $3-million.

Nonis’ preference was to not to give Franson a one-year contract, because this would have left him with five defencemen becoming either unrestricted or restricted free agents next July 1: Franson, Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Mark Fraser and Paul Ranger.

After Kadri signed and then forward Mason Raymond agreed to a one-year deal for $1-million, Nonis was left with just under $1-million to spend to reach this season’s salary cap of $64.3-million, according to capgeek.com.

Nonis also wanted Franson to sign for at least two years so he could avoid going to arbitration with him next summer as a restricted free agent. This would have compounded his contract woes with the defencemen.

The general manager came around to a one-year deal by Wednesday, according to Darren Dreger of TSN, but only if Franson would sign for $2-million or less. Franson decided to take the deal, which is less than market-value for a player of his status, but another good season means he can cash in on a rich new contract when the cap is expected to rise to at least $70-million.

The Leafs are now a little more than $1-million over the cap, so Nonis will have to do some trimming before the season starts Oct. 1. One solution, which became more difficult after winger David Clarkson was suspended for the first 10 games of the season for his part in an on-ice brawl, is to carry one or two players less than the 23-man roster limit.

The Maple Leafs will have some manoeuvring to do to wiggle under the cap and there are a few players that will be demoted or, perhaps, traded in order to get under the Salary Cap. John-Michael Liles is a frequent name brought up in either trades, or demotion scenarios. The Leafs would shave $925,000 off the cap if JML were to be sent to the Marlies.

Cody Franson re-signing is excellent for the Leafs for this season; they have lacked a quality right handed defenseman in this season’s training camp. Franson signing also could very well mean the end of Morgan Rielly staying with the Leafs, which will give some fans a sigh of relief—there is less of a chance that the young player is rushed into the lineup that way.

Whether or not the team winds up regretting not getting Franson locked down for something longer term  remains to be seen, but it relieves some of the cap concerns in the short run and ensures Franson is ready for the start of the regular season.

Dave Nonis says Morgan Rielly is ready to take a spot

If Nonis was using Rielly as spin to help the Franson talks along, that’s understandable and happens with negotiations. If he believes that Rielly will take a spot on this team, this gives the Leafs more cap stress to deal with.

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Update: Franson speaks to the media about signing his new 1 year, $2million dollar contract.

  • wiski

    Ya baby ya 😉

  • phaneufoundlander

    Thank God the Fran man is back….he was a beast in the playoffs last year….he’s just gettng better every year, especially under RC, funny how he couldn’t play for that useless fuck Wilson.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Next summer scares me greatly… man, decisions decisions

  • Alec Brownscombe

    TheCanucksnaphook Alec Brownscombe No

  • wiski

    Alec Brownscombe That’s why I’ve been saying Ph9 is gonna have to take a discount if he’s wants to stay.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    TheCanucksnaphook Alec Brownscombe But I say this because one of the consequences of a one-year deal for Franson is the insane situation next summer
    Bolland, McClement, Phaneuf, Kessel, Kulemin, Gardiner, Fraser, Ranger, Franson, Reimer all due up.

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe I’m not terribly worried Alec. I can easily see a couple of defense men moving in the next yr or so to make room for the Rielly’s of the world

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/reporterchrishttps://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/383269815773069312
    Randy Carlyle says there’s a good chance Cody Franson will play both exhibition games.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Isn’t the cap going up significantly though Alec?

  • wiski

    Burtonboy No one else sent yet for the Leafs?

  • Burtonboy

    wiski Burtonboy Sent where ?

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrunhttps://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrun/status/383270468255764480
    Told the Stepan deal is done with Rangers…

  • Alec Brownscombe

    TheCanucksnaphook Alec Brownscombe If I felt my job wasn’t to manage the Leafs from my couch this site wouldn’t be here 
    lol

  • wiski

    Burtonboy wiski Marlies or junior

  • Burtonboy

    wiski Burtonboy Nothing .

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrunhttps://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrun/status/383271132390248448
    Stepan deal a little north of $3 M a year …

  • Burtonboy

    Shift_Disturber1 TheCanucksnaphook An excuse to cover his ass lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe It would also help if Bernier takes over from Reimer. Too bad Reimer won’t be having any of it. 😉

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/383271649245949952
    Loiselle on Franson: both sides gave in a bit. Us on term Cody on money.

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy That’s going to be one interesting battle

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/383271890883600386
    Claude Loiselle says Leafs will probably carry fewer than 23 players at start of season

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Could’ve sworn someone wrote that Franson would have to solve the Leafs’ cap woes for them if he wanted a one year deal. If he wanted more than $2 million he’d have to have signed for 2 years.
    Unfortunately that post is somewhere off in cyberspace

  • wendelsway1

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe It sure will.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Alec Brownscombe Like I said earlier, a lot of guys will have the extra motivation of playing for a contract.  So theres that

  • Alec Brownscombe

    MaxwellHowe Alec Brownscombe True, that part’s nice

  • FloorHockeyFlopper

    I can’t help but feel with a primed Franson, we wouldn’t have given up 37 to the baby Turds Tuesday ….

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Actually I’m a bit surprised the Leafs gave him a 1 yr deal but I’m glad they did in order to get this done

  • wiski

    cody on HC live

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe would’ve been nice to get him for 2 years in the high 2 million range. That would’ve been the big win. But the cap crunch was crunchy

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/383272986138406912
    Franson on not going to Arb case: didn’t feel he had a good case. Getting 1-year deal was a big for us. Didn’t want to get stuck on 2

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy arbitrators weigh time on ice per game pretty heavily for defencemen I believe

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/SNTonyAmbrogiohttps://twitter.com/SNTonyAmbrogio/status/383273828740128768
    Cody Franson wanted a 1 year deal and in the end he got it as far as the contract issue : “I really don’t want to go through that again. “

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/383274145305202689
    No hard feelings for Franson: ‘It’s just business. They have a job to do … This is my dream place to play.’

  • Captain Morgan

    Let’s see now…Leafs have 40 Million next year to sign players…Phaneuf at 7M for five years, Kessel at 7M for five years….Kulemin at 3M for 3 years…Bolland at 3.5 for 3 years and Franson at 4.5 for 5 years…that leaves 15M to sign Reimer, Ranger, Gardiner, Fraser, McClement and Mason….even more if we get rid of Liles contract (which I’m sure we will)….that’s not so bad at all.

  • EMJ

    Alec Brownscombe TheCanucksnaphook lol

  • wiski

    If leafs go with 20 man roster to start the season, does everyone else have to go on waivers?

  • Airfreshener

    Burtonboy Like to hear that.

  • phaneufoundlander

    yip, a fire in their bellies so to speak

  • Airfreshener

    Captain Morgan Would Kessel sign a 5 year contract?

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Burtonboy At-A-Boy Franny…..we want you here!

  • Leafs rule

    TheCanucksnaphook Shift_Disturber1  Lmao ,u what ? guards or god will get u for that  lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Captain Morgan If Kessel signs for 5, which he very likely won’t, it will be for far more than 7.

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Captain Morgan To get Kessel for 5 its gonna cost you over 9 mil per

  • Captain Morgan

    Alec Brownscombe Captain Morgan Even if you make it 8.5, it won’t hurt us….I still think that five years is in favour of both parties.

  • Irishfanman

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Cody averaged about 18:47 min per game last year…over an 82 game schedule his 2 mil pays him $1320.53 per minute. Not bad! geeeez

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy safe to say he won’t be bypassing arbitration next off season

  • B_Leaf

    You gotta love what Cody Franson brings to the table for this team…Really happy he is on board. 
    I think he is a player who is still getting better!

  • Burtonboy

    Captain Morgan Alec Brownscombe He’s already said he wants a long term deal . An offer of 5 yrs and he’s hitting the market

  • Leafs rule

    TheCanucksnaphook Leafs rule Shift_Disturber1  Lol ,welll… yea I do now more then ever lol Thanks

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Nope but I bet the leafs extend him early if he plays well