Cody Franson. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
It’s now three weeks since free agency opened and defenseman Cody Franson is still yet to sign a new deal. In a recent interview, Franson said he’s “sick of one-year deals” and wants to join a team that will be the right fit for him. The Boston Bruins, Franson said, are one of several teams he and his agent have spoken with.
If you were wondering what has taken so long for defenseman Cody Franson to sign a new contract, you’re not alone. Franson himself seems to be getting impatient.
In an interview with TSN 1040 in Vancouver, Franson opened an interview with questions about his contract and when hosts Matt Sekeres and Jeff Paterson remark that they thought Franson would have a contract by now, the unrestricted free agent blueliner said they weren’t the only ones.
“You and me both,” remarked Franson.
Throughout the 2014-15 campaign, Franson was considered to be one of the top free agent defensemen available, but following a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Nashville Predators, Franson’s stock dropped mightily. The calls are coming in, however, and Franson told TSN 1040 that he and his agent are trying to get something done during what has been an odd summer.
“It’s just one of those things that some of the teams that we’re talking to are in cap crunches and some teams don’t want to go as long,” said Franson. “A number of different circumstances. This year has just been a lot slower in general.”
Salary could certainly be a hold up for Franson, but the other concern, something that Franson seemingly wants in a new deal, is a place to stay for at least a few seasons. Since 2010-11, Franson has played in Nashville, Toronto and back to Nashville. Three moves in five years is quite a few for a 27-year-old defenseman.
“Obviously I want something a little more than one year,” Franson laughed. “I’m sick of doing one-year deals. We’re open to all suggestions, really.”
Open to all suggestions, so long as that landing spot gives him a place to fit in the lineup, however. In Nashville post-trade, Franson struggled in a big way. After six goals and 32 points in 55 games with the Maple Leafs, Franson scored just one goal and four points in 23 games with the Predators. In the post-season, Franson managed just two assists as Nashville was eliminated in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks.
“If you’re not happy where you are, it doesn’t matter what you’re making,” Franson said. “If you can’t go out and earn what you’re making, it doesn’t feel right. Being in the proper place on the depth chart and making sure you’re a fit where you go is a real important factor for me.”
When it comes to fit, what Franson specifically pointed to was being able to play the right side. He said that if you, “ask any right-handed defenseman,” the left side can be, “uncharted territory.”
“I sat down with my agent a little over a week ago and we went through all the teams depth charts that we’re speaking to and the teams that could be potential spots for us, seeing where we fit on their blueline and if it would be a good fit,” Franson told TSN 1040. “I emphasized how much that effected me being in Nashville. As much as I love that city, it was difficult to go back to playing in that role. I want to be a guy that’s counted on and not get put back in a depth role.”
Of the teams that Franson could land on, there are, according to the defenseman, “five or six teams,” he and his agent are talking to. While he wouldn’t go into specifics, Franson did say how much he enjoyed his with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants and said he hoped Toronto would always be an option for him. One team he did say was a potential landing spot, however, was Boston.
“They’re one of the teams we’re in talks with,” Franson said. “Boston would be an interesting spot. It’s obviously an awesome city and they’ve got a great organization and all those things that come with it. There’s a handful of other teams, too, and everything’s slow rolling at the moment.”