Leafs, Franson Avoid Arbitration, Agree to One-Year Contract

Justin Fisher
July 21 2014 08:16AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs have avoided today's salary arbitration hearing with defenceman Cody Franson by signing him to a one-year, $3.3M contract, because apparently everyone had tee times.

Franson was the Leafs' highest scoring defender last season, with five goals and 33 points in 79 games. 

That $3.3M figure falls pretty much down the middle of Cody Franson's reported asking price of $4.2M and the Leafs' offer of $2M flat. These numbers, that every team and player submit prior to arbitration, are always a joke. The player will always ask for too much, while the team will always offer too little. 

As soon as those numbers were reported, it was safe to assume a one-year deal in the $3M to $3.5M range was inevitable, arbitration or not. It makes most sense to get these deals done ahead of time, as it saves the player and team from an awkward courtroom confrontation. 

It essentially would of been The Roast of Cody Franson, but, you know, not funny.

A quick look at salary cap hit comparables tells us that the Leafs, should they not trade him, have Franson signed to a pretty good contract. Guys like Trevor Daley, Clayton Stoner, Rob Scuderi, Johnny Boychuk and Andrew Ference all have very similar cap hits.

The Leafs now have about $9.2M remaining in cap space, with James Reimer and Jake Gardiner still to sign, and a seventh defenceman to add (probably Granberg and his $800K cap hit). While we all wait in anticipation of those new Reimer and Gardiner contracts, it's likely the Leafs enter the season with a nice cap cushion of approximately $3M. That ain't half bad.

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Justin Fisher is The Leafs Nation's Managing Editor. After the game, he's a handsome vigilante who fights crime and frequents late night food trucks.
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#1 WesternDP
July 21 2014, 09:23AM
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It's not a bad contract. Franson could have a bounce back year and be very tradeable from Christmas to the trade deadline, especially if some team gets into injury trouble.

It also gives the Leafs the luxury of not rushing Granberg. Another 30 or 40 games playing big minutes in the AHL, probably won't hurt Granberg. You can see he is close to ready, but we have hurt prospects before by rushing them. I would have no problem with easing in Granberg over the course of the year so that he is a regular by trade deadline. Because Granberg is still waiver exempt, you can move him up and down from the AHL as needed.

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#2 CMpuck
July 21 2014, 10:50AM
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Play him 25 minutes a game, 3.3 million for McDavid would be the best money MLSE ever spent.

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#3 leaferfan
July 21 2014, 12:59PM
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Nonis is once again beaten in a contract negotiation. This contract is about 1 or 2M above going market rate. #FireNonis

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#4 Goon
July 21 2014, 01:27PM
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$100,000 per point? Seems reasonable.

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#5 Gumby
July 21 2014, 02:17PM
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Really liked how he played during the shortened season, if he can get that form back then we'll have a solid D-core.

Although, if he has another so-so season…. I see this being the end of his tenure in TO.

Come on Cody, we're rooting for ya

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#6 Skill2Envy
July 22 2014, 02:17AM
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ain't isn't a word Justin.

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