Why the Bruins passed on Franson

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Many hockey fans grumbled when they learned that the Buffalo Sabres didn’t just sign Cody Franson; they also landed him at a significant discount.

Just about any squad with a deficit on defense had to at least consider Franson, who generates the sort of points that attract the attention of traditional types while also pleasing stat-heads with his possession stats.

The Boston Bruins are making the types of changes that would seemingly play into Franson’s strengths, so their fans might feel a little disappointed.

Ultimately, Bruins GM Don Sweeney explained that he’d rather see the team’s young defensemen battle for spots, as CSNNE.com reports.

“I think this is presenting an opportunity where you go and establish yourself,” Sweeney said. “There’s definitely a little bit of a tug of war going on internally as to whether or not you go out and get a guy that you know can provide what [Franson] can versus a little of the unknown as to what these [younger] players can grow into.”

Interestingly, Sweeney also said that “if they fall short … we have to make an adjustment accordingly.” That implies that Boston would react by either making a trade or late signing.

CSNNE.com points to increased roles for Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid and opportunities for the likes of Zach Trotman to earn a roster spot.

That’s well and good, yet you have to wonder if Boston is making a mistake; Sweeney could be going from a position of strength (Franson’s surprising lack of options this off-season) to playing catch-up (as teams would be well aware of the Bruins’ plight).

It’s not as if Franson is ancient, either, as he’s merely 28.

One way or another, this has been a fascinating first off-season for Sweeney, and time will tell if his polarizing moves will work out. At least he’s providing some insight on his decision-making, right?