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Evaluating the Cody Franson Signing

It's a Canadian Game


blog-0709989001406062337.jpgThe Toronto Maple Leafs and Cody Franson avoided what would have been another arbitration meeting between the two Monday.

The meeting was avoided when just hours before it was scheduled to occur, both sides agreed to a one year $3.3 million dollar deal.

Just days before the deal was made, a report surfaced that both sides were as much as $2.2 million dollars apart. Franson was reportedly looking for a deal in the area of $4.2 million dollars while the Maple Leafs were offering around $2 million. In the end both sides agreed to a number almost straight down the middle.

Now although the deal is done, rumours still suggest that the Maple Leafs may be looking to trade the 26 year-old defenceman. Back on July 1st news broke that the Leafs were hoping to strike a deal with the Montreal Canadiens with the hopes of acquiring defenceman Josh Gorges. In the end the deal fell through after Gorges refused to accept a trade to Toronto. Going the other way for Gorges in the deal would have been Franson.

So, obviously it is no secret that the Leafs have been looking to trade the defenceman, but if he stays is that so bad either?

Last season Franson lead the Leafs blueline with 33 points and was second in the NHL in hits with 282. So, Franson does have the ability to play both sides of the puck. He also lead the Maple Leafs in points with 29 in the lockout shortened season in 2013. However, Franson also had the second worst plus minus on the Maple Leafs this season with a -20 this season.

In the last two seasons combined, Franson ranks 19th amongst defencemen in points meaning he is definitely got that going for him.

In fact had the Leafs been able to hold on to beat the Bruins in game seven back in 2013, Franson might be looked as somewhat of a Toronto hero. After coughing up the first goal in game seven, it was Franson who scored the next two goals for Toronto to give them a 2-1 lead, what could have been.

The biggest problem that seems to surround Franson is his speed and his defensive game. The dman stands at 6’5 so of course speed is not his strong suit. When it comes to playing defensively, well the entire Toronto team suffered from a poor defensive system, so if a new system is implemented in Toronto this season these numbers could be corrected.

In fact if you look back to the previous season, for a large part of it Franson was among the league leaders in plus minus and his defence partner at the time, Mark Fraser, finished sixth overall in that category.

It seems as though once again the Maple Leafs will give Franson the chance to prove that he does deserve a raise or give him the chance to spark some interest among other teams so the Leafs can deal him. Either way, despite agreeing to his third one-year deal with the buds, it looks as though things will have to proceed as normal with Franson.

Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman


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