The Leafs and restricted free-agent Cody Franson, 26, came to a one-year agreement of$3.3 million dollars. They avoided having to go through arbitration and got the deal done. The signing allows Leafs some breathing room because now they have a better chance to evaluate Franson’s play and be able to trade him during the season if things go south.
Franson is a right handed offensive-defenseman, scored 5 goals last season and put up 28 assists in 79 games during the 2013-2014 season.
The Leafs were a non-playoff team last season that faced defensive woes. There was question whether Leafs wanted to replace Franson for a defensive defenseman. They traded Carl Gunnarsson for Roman Polak last month so they can improve the defensive side of their back end.
They were close to trading Cody Franson for Josh Gorges, but trade talks stopped after Gorges informed both the Canadiens and the Leafs that he did not want to play for the Toronto, opting instead to go to the Buffalo Sabres.