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