Franson


The Leafs get: Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi. Franson is a young and skilled puck moving defenseman who scored eight goals last season with the Predators. Lombardi is currently injured, and has been since October of 2010 (concussion-related issues). It is unclear whether he will ever return to the NHL - as for now he sits on the LTIR (long-term injured reserve).

 

Toronto shipped Brett Lebda and prospect Robert Slaney the other way.

 

Fantasy Players Impacted:

 

Franson was a player I got to see a lot of during his career in the WHL with Vancouver. He is big and possesses an elite outlet pass. He also has a hard, accurate point shot. His weaknesses are related to mobility and defensive positioning, but he is improving in both regards.

 

Nashville essentially makes this trade to save $5.5 million (the remainder of Lombardi's deal). A player on the LTIR doesn't count against the cap, but he still needs to be paid. Toronto obviously has no issues paying that kind of money to acquire a defenseman like Franson. Lebda was awful last year in Toronto and will be in tough to crack Nashville's roster. Nashville didn't have to make this deal to pay Shea Weber - they already had enough room. Perhaps this is a precursor to something else?

 

Franson plays on the right side, and he gives the Leafs another offensive weapon on the back end aside from Phaneuf and John-Michael Liles. The Leafs don't have a terribly fast defensive group, but they should get significantly more offense from their back end than they did in 2010-11. Franson will probably start on the second power play unit, but I could see him eventually working his way up to the top unit with either Phaneuf or Liles. Tim Connolly will probably see some time on the top unit as the PP QB, but the Leafs may move him around to try and maximize his abilities as a playmaker.

 

Don't forget the fact that Franson is a right-handed shot, while the other offensive defensemen shoot left.

 

Potential Toronto Defense:


Aulie-Phaneuf

Liles-Schenn

Gunnarsson-Franson

Komisarek

 

 

Potential Nashville Defense:


Suter-Weber

Blum-Klein

Josi/Ekhom/Ellis-Boulion

 

In Nashville, the defensive group now features Weber (RFA), Suter, Klein, Blum, Boulion, and Lebda. Unless another veteran is brought in (likely), this may open up a roster spot for either Ryan Ellis or Roman Josi (a favorite of mine).

 

Fantasy Players this helps, in order:


1. Cody Franson

2. Jonathan Blum

3. Ryan Ellis/Roman Josi

 

Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:


1. Luke Schenn (takes away offensive minutes)

2. Jake Gardiner

3. Carl Gunnarsson


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Jocular Hockey Manager said:

JHM
... Seems like excellent value for the Leafs. Franson could have many, many remaining NHL seasons at a solid level of play. I'm not so sure for any of the elements that Nashville received in return.

With Aulie, Gunnarsson, Komisarek, Lashoff, Liles, Phaneuf, Schenn + Franson a solid blueline seems to be taking shape for Toronto. Lots of years remaining, numerous players coming into their most productive windows, quality competition for minutes.

Leafs fans have reason for optimism, for the first time in a few years. The next project will be getting their fingers on the next Brad Richards, to create some new offensive dynamics. This year they can cross their fingers, that there is enough maturity that there truly are two solid scoring lines. Clearly they are still short a franchise defining forward.
July 04, 2011
Votes: +0

Karbinkopy said:

Karbinkopy
Bergfors With Sullivan and Dumont gone he has the possibility of walking into a top 6 role in Nashville. Of course this depends on what Nashville wants to do with Wilson and Geoffrion.
July 03, 2011
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
... Thanks, Karbinkopy. Forgot about that exemption, and of course didn't calculate the full savings in the exchange. I stand corrected.

And while I am being corrected, guess this was a precursor to a NSH move after all. They signed Bergfors. This year's Sergei Kos?
July 03, 2011
Votes: +0

Karbinkopy said:

Karbinkopy
Fzusher also the $5.5 million saved is the rounded number of $7.0 million from Matt Lombardi (over the next two years) minus the $1.45 million for Brett Lebda this year. Equals $5.55 Million.
July 03, 2011
Votes: +0

Karbinkopy said:

Karbinkopy
fzusher (Blake Kessel)
4. To cloud the Leafs D picture further, here's my little conspiracy theory of the day. Word out of New Hampshire back in April was that Kessel intended to turn pro at season's end. Yet no contract has been signed with the Isles yet. Could he be holding out to join big bro on Leafs? Could he be the price (or part of the price) in a Komisarek trade?


Blake Kessel has left New Hampshire, http://www.unhwildcats.com/spo...0524c29lo6 and is a free agent by the same rules that Blake Wheeler used to become a free agent, http://www.lighthousehockey.co...e-for-pros. Blake Kessel will be an invite to a training camp and get signed just before the season to a two way contract. Sorry to kill that conspiracy theory.
July 03, 2011
Votes: -1

fzusher said:

fzusher
... Don't look here for a precursor to another Preds move. This is likely done with 2 things - two summers - in mind.

This summer: They are likely clearing Lombardi's salary in anticipation of RFA signings, especially given they may need to overpay some of them if they are deemed UFA eligible. Especially O'Reilly, now cemented in the top-9. O'Reilly, Kostitsyn, Spaling, Halischuk, under threat of becoming UFAs and given the crazy market we just witnessed, could combine for 7.5M; add Weber at 7.5M and you are at 50M, which I would guess is where they want to be.

BTW: according to capgeek Lombardi has 7M left, 3.5 in each year.

Next summer: They are in salary hell. Rinne, Souter, Bouillon, Tootoo UFAs; Wilson, Blum, Lindbaeck, and Geoffrion RFAs, as was Franson. And some of the RFAs may get 1-yr deals too. No way they fit all of those renewals under their self-imposed 'as little as we can get away with' salary cap. I'm pretty certain they did their internal deliberations and decided they likely won't be able to retain all of Weber, Suter, Blum and Franson, and that of the four Franson was the most expendable (Blum vs. Franson: Blum may be on 10-15 less goals for per season than Franson, but he'll be on 25-30 less goals against and as an NHL GM you'll take that every time ... ).

Final thoughts:

1. A Leafs D whose weakness is mobility and defensive positioning. Sounds familiar.

2. Start the Komisarek to Islanders rumors again. They need a D of his ilk and cap hit. And he's a local boy.

3. I don't see Gardiner hurt by this long term. If this means he gets an extra year of seasoning in the A, all the better for him. He needs it - as do 95% of prospects in their first pro year. Long term, Liles won't be there, and Gardiner is still heir apparent to that vacated spot.

4. To cloud the Leafs D picture further, here's my little conspiracy theory of the day. Word out of New Hampshire back in April was that Kessel intended to turn pro at season's end. Yet no contract has been signed with the Isles yet. Could he be holding out to join big bro on Leafs? Could he be the price (or part of the price) in a Komisarek trade?
July 03, 2011
Votes: +0

Karbinkopy said:

Karbinkopy
NHLPA grievance I think this salary clearing has more to do with NHLPA grievance against the Predators for not timely informing their RFA that they've been qualified. Queue Chicago all over again. If on July 8th the arbitrator rules in favour of the NHLPA, which by Nashville salary dump looks likely, then we can see some big time salary jumps, a la Kris Versteeg and Cam Barker in Chicago. S. Kostitsyn will definitely see some interest in this weak UFA class. It might take a little more to sign Cal O'Reilly as well. The $5.5 million saved in this deal will go a long way to mitigating these salary increases. Franson is a good young talent, but with Nashville's D pipeline he was expendable and the candy for Toronto to accept the sour taste of Lombardi's contract.
July 03, 2011
Votes: +0
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