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:
— James van Riemsdyk (@JVReemer21) September 26, 2013
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.
Update: Franson speaks to the media about signing his new 1 year, $2million dollar contract.
Currently ranking the team out of 10 in a number of different categories: http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/09/26/mlhs-hangout-episode-3-live/
Everyone tune in, we're live: http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/09/26/mlhs-hangout-episode-3-live/
Announcers in Boton-Winnipeg game talking about how Dougie Hamiltion is on the bubble because other young guys have outplayed him in camp.
With Clarkson missing the first 10 games, I figured one of Kulemin or Raymond would join Lupul and Kadri on the 2nd line, with McClement moving up to join the other one and Bolland on the third line.
That's where I thought Colborne would come into the picture, as we'd need a centre for the fourth line.
@wiski I'm pretty sure neither of them get to 50 points.
Only one Dougy...the rest are 3 year olds including Hamilton
@ingy56 Bernier better take it easy when the Leafs go to Miami. Stay on his own side of the red line. Thomas probably packing.
@ingy56 I would think he would have a Please Trade Clause. It IS the Panthers.
@Xxxxxnew They should trade him Trade him Trade him. Blew his chance. Put him on the trade market with Big Joe.
@Xxxxxnew Shocking, Jim Hughson must be sick about it.
Gotta remember he's still only 20 years old
@-Keon- et tu Keon? Are you people aware of a tree that grows 6 foot 5 centres with soft hands and good speed? Kid is starting slow IN PRE SEASON. And I'm sure I noticed the Leafs have a serious lack of depth at the center position.
Yea, lets give up on another young kid with potential, seeing as it has never come back to bite us in the ass in the past, haha.
@MikeGartner11 I thought it was referring to Bozak. If not then my mistake.
@WendelGilmour In a couple of preseason games?
Depth that can't be productive then. It's not just my opinion of his skill level, it's his complete lack of grabbing the opportunity.
@WendelGilmour That's a little harsh
@ConnorCrisp Franson is happy with the term because he knows if he repeats that performance he'll get 5 million or more from an arbiter.
If they had paid him more it wouldn't gaurantee any kind of discount later... Its a long year, if this team likes eachother as much as they appear to, and we go deep in the playoffs perhaps all will be forgiven? As it is franny seems happy with the term.
@Jordan29 @Cameron19 @MaxwellHowe @-Keon- What a wildly incorrect thing to say. I have supported the trade for Bernier since the day it happened. Find a single post where I said otherwise. Fuck, I'm so tired of people not even reading my posts and then making accusations about them. Defending Reimer-bashing IS NOT the same as hating Bernier, or the Bernier-trade. Learn to read. I was happy to add him.
@Jordan29 @Cameron19 @MaxwellHowe @-Keon- I don't usually think that. You can go back and check my entire history of salary predictions on MLHS if you want. You'll find I' had never been off on a single contract by more than a couple hundred thousand...until Franson and Kadri. Of course, you also neglect that I predicted a multi-year deal for Franson. 3 years at 3.5 million was my prediction. We got him for 1, at 2 million. Now we'll see what the other years cost. Surely you can see that this signing doesn't come without a price, right? We screwed him now, so he can stick it to us later. Now the balance will work out to much more than I predicted.
@-Keon- @MaxwellHowe He worked hard over the summer. He wants it, but I think right now he lacks confidence. He needs some regular season games under his belt, he needs a chance to find a groove. People can be high on Devane and Ashton, that's fine, they're working their asses off, but Colborne is a centre, its a position that requires discipline and routine - he can't be running around making hits to impress - he is incredibly gifted, losing him to get a bit of cap space would be short sighted.
Ya, it's not like the Bruins have strength down the middle. Lot's of room for him in that lineup. For fucks sake, Sequins couldn't crack their lineup as a center.
Did the cap have anything to do with that?
I wouldn't say Kaberle was past his prime.
People seem to conveniently forget that he lead the Bruins in points by a defenceman during their Stanley Cup rn.
I wouldn't say they gave up on him, as they did get Kaberle in return, who was considered one of the best PMD in the league at the time.