The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have to engage in an unpleasant arbitration battle with 26-year-old defenseman Mark Fraser. The two sides made the hearing scheduled for today moot by agreeing to a one-year, $1.28 million contract, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby.
Fraser was asking for $2 million in arbitration while Toronto had countered with $855,000.
The Ottawa, Ontario-native is a big, physical defenseman that doesn’t do a lot offensively. Toronto now has six blueliners signed to one-way contracts, not including Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson, who remains a restricted free agent.
It’s not clear where Fraser will fit with the 2013-14 Maple Leafs, but it’s doubtful that he’ll start the season as more than a third-pairing blueliner.
This deal also gives the Maple Leafs less than $5 million in projected cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Nazem Kadri and Franson. A recent report suggests that Toronto might trade Franson in light of their cap situation.