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.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.