TORONTO– Restricted free agent Cody Franson isn’t sure when, or even if, he’ll be signed back by the Maple Leafs. In fact, he hasn’t had communication with the organization in quite some time.
“I haven’t talked to my agent in a bit,” said Franson Tuesday morning at the MasterCard Centre. “(Management and my agent) had a brief call a while back and I haven’t heard much since.
“I’m not too sure where (my contract) sits.”
The 25-year-old was tendered a qualifying offer by the Leafs back in June, however the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement on a new deal.
Franson is coming off a season in which he led all Leaf blue liners in scoring with four goals and 29 points in 45 games. He followed up a career-best regular season with three goals and six points in the playoffs while averaging over 22 minutes a game, which included time on both sides of special teams. He was paid $1.2 million for the season and is expected to see a raise in his new deal, it’s just unclear how far apart the two sides are when reaching a new figure.
“I think it’s just the business end of the game,” said Franson with regards to the time it’s taking to reach an agreement. “It’s negotiations. They aren’t always a fun time but that’s why you get an agent so you don’t have to deal with that end of the game.”
Despite not having a contract, the Salmon Arm, BC native is training in Toronto at the MCC with skating consultant Barbara Underhill.
“I’m trying to work out a few kinks in my skating,” he said. “Your skating can always improve. I want to make sure I’m ready for camp.”
While on the ice with Underhill Tuesday, Franson’s blue-line partner from 2012, Mark Fraser, re-signed with the Leafs for one year at $1.275 million, leaving the Leafs with just under $5 million in cap space to re-sign both Franson and Nazem Kadri.
“That’s great, I’m happy for him,” Franson said when told about Fraser’s deal.
While it seems a stretch to think Leafs GM Dave Nonis can get both players in under that number, the salary cap doesn’t truly come into effect until after training camp ends in September, so there is still plenty of time to negotiate and work around the numbers.
Franson is represented by Gerry Johannson at the Sports Corporation.