Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

Report: Despite trade offers, Leafs want to keep Franson

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The Toronto Maple Leafs received some trade offers for pending free agent defenseman Cody Franson, but the deals haven’t been strong enough to pry him away. With that in mind, the team would prefer to re-sign him, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

It appears that Franson, 26, will be a restricted free agent. (He turns 27 on August 8.)

The offensive defenseman experienced a 2013-14 season that’s likely to produce some scorn from certain circles, although it gets trickier when you consider his work when compared to his teammates.

First, the things that aren’t up to debate: Franson set new career-highs in assists (28), points (33) and average time on ice (20:42) last season. He also finished with the worst plus/minus (-20) of his career, which will draw that aforementioned scorn.

That being said, the Maple Leafs were a team that drew serious criticism from the “advanced stats” community, so some will wonder if his shakier numbers come down to the system more than the player. His possession stats leave a lot to be desired, yet Toronto seemed to perform relatively better when he was on the ice than when he was not.

Chances are that other teams will weigh the -20 rating and 33 points and give him a mixed review, which might be fair enough. In other words, the Maple Leafs might be correct in believing that he’s worth more to them than anyone else at this point.

Negotiations could take a while considering his debatable value, but the good news is that it’s unlikely either side will get sued in the process.

Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

(Check out video of the hit above.)

The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.