Maple Leafs rumors: Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson still in contract disputes

Jared Wickerham

The team and the two breakout players are still far apart.

It's now September, and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri and defenseman Cody Franson remain without contracts.

The restricted free agents, who both had breakout seasons with the Leafs, are still not signed for 2013-14. Both spoke to the media on Tuesday and made it clear that there's still plenty of work to be done before training camp begins.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Kadri sees his comparable contract as that of Islanders forward John Tavares (6 years, $5.5 million per year), while the Leafs are thinking more in the range of PK Subban (2 years, $2.875 million per year). The Leafs are closer in money on Franson, but remain apart in terms of contract length.

Toronto is feeling a cap crunch following the signing of David Clarkson and the acquisitions of Dave Bolland and Jonathan Bernier over the summer. They have $4.89 million in cap space according to Capgeek, and must try to get Kadri and Franson in under that number. If that proves to be an impossibility, the team might look to explore trade opportunities.

Kadri, a 22-year-old that the Leafs selected 7th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, finally delivered on his potential by registering 18 goals and 44 points in 48 games. He had a goal and three assists in Toronto's seven-game playoff series with the Boston Bruins. Kadri just finished his entry-level contract.

The 26-year-old Franson had an excellent season for the Leafs. He put up 25 assists and 29 points (both at least tying career highs) in 45 games, and added six points in seven games in the post-season. Franson is coming off a 1-year deal worth $1.2 million.

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