The negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Nazem Kadri received a great deal of attention, but the team still has one restricted free agent who needs a contract. Defenseman Cody Franson still remains on the sideline as his representatives continue to talk with the Maple Leafs about a new deal.
The situation is familiar for the 26-year-old, who signed a one-year, $1.2 million bridge contract last season. Based upon comments last week, Franson understands that he still faces the prospects of another bridge deal. However, it appears he disagrees with the Maple Leafs on how long that deal will last.
TSN's Darren Dreger stated on Wednesday night that Franson is interested in signing another one-year contract, but the Maple Leafs are pushing for a two-year deal. The reason Toronto is interested in a multi-year agreement is because the team has eight unrestricted free agents next offseason (three are defenseman), which includes players such as Phil Kessel and captain Dion Phaneuf, in addition to Jake Gardiner becoming a restricted free agent.
Apparently, the club is looking to limit the amount of expiring deals for next offseason.
Dreger reports that Toronto is willing to give Franson a two-year deal exceeding $2 million in annual salary.
Questions still persist regarding Franson's decision to not file for arbitration this summer. In addition, speculation has been abound about a potential offersheet, as the Maple Leafs have a limited amount of cap space to work with.