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

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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.