Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/13/13 at 05:51 AM ET
from Jonas Siegel of TSN,
In a statement delivered exclusively to TSN.ca Thursday evening, Franson expressed optimism that a resolution would come to pass in the very near future.
"I really like playing in Toronto,” he said. “I think we have a great team and we have some unfinished business to take care of. I learned a lot from the coaches last year and felt like my game took a step forward. I understand the cap situation this team faces and have been ready to sign a one-year deal for some time. I hope this gets worked out soon so I can get back on the ice with my teammates"
Franson wants to remain in Toronto and the Leafs would like to keep him, believing in his promise as an eventual top-4 defender. But the two sides are entrenched in entirely different terms on a contract.
Though he would not discuss actual figures for the negotiation, Franson is believed to be open to a one-year deal worth $3 million – cognizant of the cap coming down this year – a number that would seem to fall below his perceived value following a career year in 2013. The Leafs however, are not inclined to sign him to a one-year deal under any circumstance, seeing no benefit to such an outcome while faced with the prospect of an even more challenging negotiation next summer if Franson were to produce another strong year this season.
Instead, the Leafs are believed to prefer two years at what they would contend is a fair number for both sides, thereby bringing the B.C. native to the gates of unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2015.
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