Franson was arguably the Leafs’ best defenseman last season, and after deciding not to file for arbitration and watching the likes of Carl Gunnarsson sign for over $3M, the wait is finally over.
That isn’t good news for Korbinian Holzer, who will likely be sent to the AHL Marlies because his salary would come off the Cap (<$925K) and make just enough room for Franson. The Leafs may also demote another forward and maybe a blueliner to make more room as they have stated they will not carry the maximum 23 man roster for a majority of the season.
Franson had a career year in the lockout shortened season, with 4 goals and 29 points to finish tied for 6th among defensemen in points in the NHL.
The Leafs had to figure out a way to make room under the cap for Franson, a task that was made more difficult with the 10 game suspension to David Clarkson. Suspended players still count towards the Cap, as would the player replacing him on the roster.
But in the end, Franson needed to be on the ice for Toronto to be competitive, and cooler heads prevailed. Franson got his wish for a one year deal, meaning he will still be eligible for arbitration next summer, but could sign a longer-term extension as early as January with the one-year deal.