Weekend Mashup: $2.2 million apart

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Updating on Elliot’s excellent piece about Monday’s arbitration case, word is the Maple Leafs and Cody Franson have submitted their initial proposals and are more than $2 million apart on salary.

Being $2.2 million apart probably isn’t outrageous as far as this nasty process goes, but it certainly sounds like a huge divide when the player’s desired contract figure is more than double that of the club.

Always a demeaning process, the Maple Leafs have anchored their offer as if Franson is worth the same as he was paid on his previous one-year deal, which Franson felt was a pittance last summer and set out to prove he could do what he did in the half-season over the full slog in 2013-14; he posted only 4 more points in 34 fewer games despite two more minutes of time on ice per game at even strength (along with very similar PP time). Franson has asked for Slava Voynov money; that obviously doesn’t jive in terms of age/potential and even strength production, which actually decreased from the shortened season to the full one for Franson (16 EVPts in 2012-13, 15 EVPts in 2013-14). A big part of that dip in 5v5 production is attributable to his 41.1% zone starts (versus 45.5% in 2012-13) against better competition as the Leafs looked to him as a second-pair guy at even strength, although these type of numbers aren’t used in arbitration hearings.

A half-way split would make it a reasonably attractive contract at $3.1 million per season, able to be moved for value if the Leafs go that route. The walkaway point is $3.5 million, but a figure south of $4 million seems unlikely to be walked away from.

It becomes a question of whether or not the Leafs think last season indicated he’s capable of handling top 4 minutes well or not, and if he’s a fit on the rejigged blueline. If they think he’s worth it and can play those minutes on a good team, pushing Phaneuf to the left side and lining up Robidas, Franson and Polak down the right is a distinct possibility. If not, the Leafs will be hoping this contract settlement comes in at a nice marketable price and will proceed to try to move him.

The Leafs have $11 million in cap space remaining with Franson, Jake Gardiner and James Reimer left to sign, but there’s probably a little more room than that given there’s 15 forwards currently on the cap chart.

This will be an interesting situation to follow early this week.

 

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  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Was reading the link Declan posted in the previous Mashup about the prospects who stood out at the recent camp….very curious to see how Connor Brown progresses.

  • BigTO

    I’d consider walking away from anything over $3.5 million myself. I’m worried he becomes an odd man out if his PP bubble bursts and starts looking at a burden at a larger figure than that.  Not seeing enough value at 5v5 personally.

  • djamon

    @BigTO You can’t walk away from an asset who can easily be traded. Not over a few hundred thousand.

  • Cloud09

    Just a FYI, the link to Elliot’s article takes you to the Leafs Capgeek page, not MLHS.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cloud09 He wrote that page.
    Jks, thanks.

  • hometeem

    djamon wonderin if a deep team would pay a premium if franny was on a one year deal and we ate most of his salary.  is their a limit on how much of a guys contract u can eat?

  • djamon

    hometeem 50%. But it wouldn’t require that much.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/adater https://twitter.com/adater/status/490695087760744451
    Canada upsets USA 8-5 in world lacrosse championship https://twitter.com/hashtag/worldlax?src=hash  UPSETS? WTF we own lacrosse

  • Xxxxxnew

    Field lacrosse.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Do we peddle Franson and give Del Zotto that chance to “prove doubters wrong” close to home?
    Only 24, young for a D.
    2 40 pt seasons to his name already. He’ll put it together again in the right circumstances.
    Sheltered minutes in T.O. those circumstances?

  • .JVR.

    Don’t necessarily hate the guy as much as most on here do, but if he gets awarded anything more than $3.5 million, I think Nonis and Co. should walk away!

  • .JVR.

    rustynail Lacrosse is our other National Sport

  • Xxxxxnew

    I’d like to know what he wants salary-wise. The Preds couldn’t talk him down from his previous $5.1 mil and so they let him walk, even after sending Kevin Klien to the Rangers for him. No qualifying offer, which would have been 100 % of his last contract.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Can’t even be traded for a year if they did accept the award.

  • Jmessih

    Alec Brownscombe I like the idea in principle, but damn Del Zotto can’t defend in his end. We have enough speed guys who can handle the puck, we need better out and out two way guys who can handle each shift no matter who is on the ice (Robidas style and quality type Dmen). 
    Thoughts?

  • rustynail

    Xxxxxnew not true that is only for offer sheets. He can be traded instantly

  • rustynail

    Alec Brownscombe Don’t see how he is a fit for us

  • Cloud09

    Alec Brownscombe I think you’d have to give him sheltered minutes and lots of PP time to see him get back to a 30-40 pt pace.

  • Jmessih

    Can Franson play better and potentially prove he is worth it on the third pair with lower competition? Sure, most likely.
    But that is a lot of money to give a third pairing guy, and we already have Polak in the 3 RD position, moving Franson to his off side to play in the thid pairing is a massive mistake in my mind. Considering his skating and thinking ability are arguably his weaknesses, he could get eaten alive on that side. 
    Gards/Rielly – Dion
    Gards/Rielly – Robidas
    (_______) – Polak 
    This is how the D should shape up, we need another LD and Franson cannot play that. We need to move him for another asset, preferably a LD. If we could get a top 4 guy who could push one of Gards or Rielly to the 3rd paid I REALLY like the way our D looks. If I’m Nonis that is my number ONE priority right now.

  • Xxxxxnew

    It all comes back to me now. ROR’s case last year.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I think, after reading the New York Post, we’d be taking on yet another project.

  • NotSince67

    Cloud09 Alec Brownscombe Isn’t that what we do with Franny though?
    I can see from an asset management standpoint though if you re-sign then trade Franson and bring MDZ in it adds the asset from the trade and the asset of MDZZ comes in solely as a loss of the cap space you sign him for.
    Having said that, their on ice performance, it does make a difference in terms of whether you see MDZ as an upgrade, or if it’s a downgrade that it’s not significant enough to hurt the team and the asset in return can offset the loss on the whole organizationally.

  • Cloud09

    NotSince67 Cloud09 Alec Brownscombe Well I’m on the fence with Del Zotto, but unless he comes dirt cheap I would pass. I don’t see him getting a ton of PP time to make it worthwhile but who knows how it would work out.

  • Xxxxxnew

    From the New York Post on Del Zotto:

    “Del Zotto, given all sorts of freedom on the ice, couldn’t take advantage of the clean slate; never was able to play to his perceived offensive strengths; never quite clicked with upbeat, positive-thinking assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson any more than he had previously with the dour and sour Mike Sullivan.
    My goodness, by December Del Zotto had somehow fallen behind Justin (Hell No, I Won’t Go … to Hartford… for Conditioning!) Falk on the depth chart.
    A new start with Vigneault ended with a trade for Kevin Klein. A fresh start in Nashville under Trotz ended without an invite to return for newly hired Peter Laviolette. At some point, it is not on the coaches.

  • Xxxxxnew

    More from the Post:

    Del Zotto is the most intriguing free agent remaining on the market. He simply is too young with too much ability to already have landed in the overstock bin.
    But that’s where he is after a spell in which every team with needs on the back end — which, by definition, pretty much means every team in the NHL — has done their homework on due diligence on Del Zotto and has passed, and many even before checking the sticker price.
    This doesn’t mean time has passed Del Zotto by, or his best days — when, in October 2009, he was, as a 19-year-old, NHL rookie of the month? — are in the past. It means, though, the burden of proof is on the player. It means Del Zotto can’t — or shouldn’t — sell himself for a premium.
    For right now, five years down a road filled with speed bumps and now a dead end, Del Zotto is perceived as difficult to coach. This is surely a primary reason why Del Zotto remains without a job in a league of third, fourth and fifth chances.
    This can’t be about the dotted line for Del Zotto — not now. For the bottom line is that at the age of 24, Del Zotto is a reclamation project. It is impossible to believe there aren’t needy teams out there that wouldn’t take a flier on him, but at their price, not his; their terms, not his.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Alec Brownscombe 
    I’d rather have Franson than Del Zotto, to be quite honest.

  • RandomScrub

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Alec Brownscombe Honestly depends. If you can trade Franson for something useful and then
    sign Del Zotto for 1-2m for like 1-2 years that is probably better.

  • Cloud09

    Jmessih Brian Campbell.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    RandomScrub Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Alec Brownscombe 
    I don’t see us getting much for Franson with him going to arbys…..and I don’t see Del Zotto accepting 1-2 million considering the salary he was getting before (though begges can’t be choosers either so, who knows).  If MDZ can be signed for cheap, sure…..but it he’s in the same price range as Franson, I’d rather keep Franson.

  • Cloud09

    Jmessih Mike Green could also be an interesting option.

  • Fish Head

    Alec Brownscombe I would prefer Franson over Del Zotto. But considering that MDZ is available and no one is biting, I’m a bit concerned on what the market is for Franson

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Fish Head Alec Brownscombe Save some money, get a player who wants a fresh start (vs. one who might want one elsewhere) who can help replace the production, has lots of upside left at 24, can skate much better, play the left side on the bottom pair… there’s some logic in it.

  • NotSince67

    Alec Brownscombe Fish Head  To discuss moving Franson at this point… is difficult until post-arbitration. However, everything you stated is correct. 

    It’s a gamble to save space and bring in an extra asset, hoping the overall performance between the players is not a drop-off. Having said that, Franson was no gem in our end and a player who doesn’t contribute offensively and if equal or even more of a liability is most likely not even going to get dressed (possibly find himself playing @ Ricoh)

  • Sexyhairyman

    Cloud09 Jmessih i would love it. dont know what i would pitch though.

  • .JVR.

    Jmessih
    Simple solution would be to move Phaneuf to his “natural” position of LD.  I know he’s played RD his whole life, but the left side is the “natural” place for a left-handed shot to play.

    Phaneuf   –   Robidas
    Rielly   –   Polak
    Gardiner    –   Franson

    Would have been great if that ex-scHab Gorges would have waived his no-trade clause to come here, but no point in living in the past.

    If the arbitration award comes in at less than $3.5 million, the Leafs will have no choice but to give him the 1-year deal, however I’m not sure how arbitration affects your ability to trade a player.
    I’m guessing that because Franny opted for arbitration, they could probably trade him right away, whereas if the Leafs had opted for arbitration, there would probably be a waiting period.

  • .JVR.

    Xxxxxnew
    Ya, he signed an offer sheet with the Flames and Colorado matched, therefore they couldn’t trade him until a certain date passed.

  • .JVR.

    Cloud09
    He sounds like the left-handed version of Franson, minus the physical play and size.

  • ProfessorRance

    Cloud09 Jmessih NO THANKS!

  • Savo43

    Cloud09 Jmessih Robidas can really teach Gardiner a thing or two about defense. Great mentor for him imo.

  • leafdreamer

    Interesting predicament: Reimer and Franson both want out as they both feel that they are undervalued here.  If we keep them, do they play their guts out to earn a contract next year or do they play like shit because they hate their lives? And if former is the case is that one year of their good play worth letting them go for nothing after it has passed. That is the big question for the Leafs management to answer.  I’d try to trade them now for players of comparable talent that want to play in T.

  • MaxwellHowe

    I agree that ideally, the Leafs would trade Franson after the arbitrator’s decision (maybe eat a little salary), then sign MDZ to a short term reasonable contract.

  • Savo43

    Rielly-Phaneuf
    Gardiner-Robidas
    Del Zotto-Polak
    =
    some serious puck moving defense, accommodated by some serious defensive beasts on the right side. The obvious gameplan for the opposition would be to attack the left side though which makes me wonder if that would be a good thing or bad thing. We’d definitely see more open ice hits, with Dion, or Roman waiting for one of their partners to get burned off of the oppositions rush, but i really dont know. I think i’d honestly rather MacWilliam or Granberg in the lineup, than another offensive defenseman.

  • Savo43

    i wish there was a site like this to talk raptors.

  • JMAC17

    Savo43 yeah I would like to see someone punishing on the 3rd pairing,,,,but someone that isnt a total pylon

  • Optimustic

    .JVR. Jmessih http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2014/07/18/the-cody-franson-arbitration-what-is-he-worth/ In the last paragraph, Elliot Saccucci explains that Franny can be traded after the arbitration hearing.   Though he seems to suggest that the Leafs will likely have him manning the point on the PP for another year anyway.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Savo43 I am glad there is only ONE site like this !!

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Savo43 Again, prefer we give a shot to somebody we have in our system.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    TheCanucksnaphook Savo43 I’m glad there is only one poster like YOU !!

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    TuckerForPunishment TheCanucksnaphook Savo43 Well, technically I am considered a “Host” around here.

    (ok technically only in my mind)

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Give me training Camp.  I will even accept Marlies training camp at this point.