Though the club has yet to make it official, both TSN and the Toronto Star have confirmed the Leafs and Cody Franson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.3 million deal.
This marks the third consecutive one-year deal Franson’s signed with the Leafs — the first was a $1.2 million pact for the 2011-12 season, followed by the $2M contract he played on last year. With this new deal, Franson draws even with Stephane Robidas as Toronto’s second highest-paid blueliner, though it remains to be seen what fellow RFA Jake Gardiner nets with his pending deal.
At 26, Franson is coming off a year in which he posted career highs in assists (28) and points (33), but also finished with a team-worst minus-20 rating, though some of that had to do with playing big minutes (20:42 TOI average) on a team that wasn’t exactly a brick fortress defensively. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits next year on a revamped Leafs blueline — gone are the likes of Carl Gunnarsson, Paul Ranger and Tim Gleason; in their place, the likes of Robidas and Roman Polak have been brought aboard.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.