Tag: Olli Jokinen

cody franson

Franson on free agency: ‘I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix’


During his season-ending media availability Nashville Predators GM David Poile told reporters that his acquisition of defenseman Cody Franson from the Toronto Maple Leafs “wasn’t a perfect fit”.

Franson along with Mike Santorelli were dealt from the Leafs to the Predators on Feb. 15 in exchange for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and Nashville’s 2015 first-round draft pick.

“The fact that Franson was a right-handed shot…wasn’t the perfect situation for Franson or for us,” said Poile said last month.

The blue liner had a goal and four points in 23 games with the Preds following the trade and added two assists in five games of Nashville’s first round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Barring a trade before July, Franson is likely headed for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career and is hoping his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, comes calling.

“I enjoyed playing in that city and definitely I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix come July 1,” Franson told TSN Radio 1050 on Saturday. “My phone will definitely be on and hoping that they’re one of the teams that calls.”

The 27-year-old spent parts of four seasons in Toronto registering 115 points in 236 games while averaging just under 20 minutes a night in ice time.

Having appeared in 400 career games over eight seasons split between Nashville and Toronto, Franson could have the opportunity to chose where he plays for the first time in his career. However, it’s not something he’s necessarily looking forward to.

“This is new territory for me,” he said. “I’m excited to kind of really just get it over with and find out where I’m going and start gearing towards the next season. I’ve been off for a few weeks now, taken my time off and getting back in the gym here.

“When you start getting back in the gym, it’s that time to start looking forward to the next season. With being in free agency, you don’t know where that’s going to be. July 1 can’t come quick in enough.”

Franson made $3.3 million this season on a one-year deal.

Armstrong: All Blues signings on hold ’til Tarasenko ‘taken care of’


These are uncertain times in St. Louis.

With the future of head coach Ken Hitchcock up in the air, the club will now put all restricted and unrestricted free agents on the backburner in order to deal with this summer’s No. 1 priority — re-signing Russian sniper Vladimir Tarasenko.

“We are not going to be active in signing other players until we get him taken care of,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said, per the Post-Dispatch. “If it means allowing players to go to free agency, if it means making players sweat it out on what their deal’s going to be, he’s the priority for us.

“I’d like to partner with him, I’d like to partner with Mike [Liut, Tarasenko’s agent]. If it happens in May, great. If it happens in June, great. If it happens in August, great. He’s the primary guy.”

To be fair, the Blues don’t have a ton of other decisions to make this summer. RFA goalie Jake Allen is No. 2 on the priority chart after Tarasenko, and the club has suggested it’d like to try and get something done with RFA d-man Roberto Bortuzzo.

As for UFAs, longtime Blue Barret Jackman’s future is in doubt. Armstrong said last week the club has “no answer” at the moment to questions about re-signing Jackman, which is obviously tied to Tarasenko. Trade deadline pickups Olli Jokinen, Marcel Goc and Zbynek Michalek would appear to be lower on the aforementioned priority chart.

Armstrong isn’t divulging much about the status of negotiations with Liut, but did reveal a few nuggets. One, there is zero chance No. 91 leaves via an offer sheet, with Armstrong saying it’ll be “easy” for the club to match whatever’s put forth. Armstrong also said the deal will be contingent upon next year’s salary cap, and that — in keeping with the deal struck last summer for forward Jaden Schwartz — Tarasenko will be hamstrung a bit by his RFA status (lest we forget Tarasenko just wrapped his entry-level deal, which paid a base salary of $900,000.)

“He’s going to be very well compensated on a second contract,” Armstrong explained. “But you make more money when you have more rights. He doesn’t have unrestricted free agency rights and that’s just the nature of the beast.

“That’s the business. He gets it, Mike gets it, I get it.”

Report: Leafs’ Lindstrom signs in KHL

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs

Joakim Lindstrom’s return to North American was a brief one.

On Friday, Swedish outlet Hockey Sverige reported that Lindstrom, who returned to the NHL this season with St. Louis — before getting traded to Toronto — has signed with KHL club SKA St. Petersburg.

The 31-year-old, who spent time with the Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Avalanche in his first North American tour, signed with the Blues last summer following three very productive years with Skelleftea of the Swedish League.

While he was OK in St. Louis (six points in 34 games), he didn’t have a significant presence and wasn’t a lineup regular, eventually getting flipped to the Leafs at the deadline as part of the Olli Jokinen trade.

With Toronto, Lindstrom scored four points in 19 games, averaging 10:30 TOI per night.

Lindstrom is expected to fill the gap at SKA left by Artemi Panarin, who recently signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.