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Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson commits to play for Gavle in Sweden

Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Jones, right, battles with Toronto Maple Leafs' Cody Franson during second period NHL hockey game action in Edmonton on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. Franson is committed to spending an entire season in Sweden — whether the NHL lockout gets resolved or not.The unsigned Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman agreed to a contract with Brynas on Monday.THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Ulan

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Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Jones, right, battles with Toronto Maple Leafs' Cody Franson during second period NHL hockey game action in Edmonton on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. Franson is committed to spending an entire season in Sweden — whether the NHL lockout gets resolved or not.The unsigned Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman agreed to a contract with Brynas on Monday.THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Ulan

GAVLE, Sweden - Cody Franson is on his way to the Swedish Elite League to play for Brynas.

How long the unsigned Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman stays there remains to be seen.

In annoncing the signing Monday, the Swedish Elite League team made it sound like Franson would be around for the entire season, but his agent later clarified that he had the option to return to North America if the lockout ended and a contract could be reached with the Leafs.

The 25-year-old defenceman is a restricted free agent who went unsigned by Toronto throughout the summer.

He made US$800,000 while appearing in 57 games with the Leafs last season, scoring five goals and 21 points.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Franson was an unrestricted free agent.

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