Poile: Preds hoped Franson trade ‘would work out better’

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GM David Poile met with reporters today in the wake of Nashville’s first-round playoff elimination to Chicago and, in doing so, admitted his big trade deadline move — acquiring Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from Toronto — simply didn’t work out.

Franson, a pending UFA, was a major disappointment for the Preds (partially because they surrendered a first-round pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic to acquire him). The 27-year-old had six goals and 32 points in 55 games at the time of the trade and was averaging more than 21 TOI per night — upon pulling the trigger, Poile called Franson “a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations,” adding he’d “seamlessly fit into our team.”

But that didn’t happen.

Franson saw his ice time slowly dwindle after making his Nashville debut on Feb. 21, to the point where he was a virtual non-factor by April.

Franson then missed Game 1 of the Chicago series and, while he drew back in for the final five contests and recorded a pair of assists, his ice time still hovered between a mere 14-15 minutes per night — and that was after Shea Weber exited the series in Game 2.

Looking ahead, it seems as though Franson’s second go-round with the Preds is over. The club sounds unlikely to offer him a new contract, which means that — despite this poor spell in Music City — he’ll still be one of the more coveted free agent defenseman hitting the market on July 1.