Sunday, July 3, 2011

Leafs Steal Cody Franson From Nashville

This trade makes no sense to me. Brett Lebda and an ECHLer for Cody Franson and Matt Lombardi. Sure, Lombardi missed all of last season with a severe concussion and Nashville clearly wants to dump the final 2 years at $3.5M per left on his contract, but did you have to trade a blue chipper like Franson to get the Leafs to take the Lombardi contract off your hands? That's paying too high a price to get another team to eat that particular contract. This suggests that the Nashville franchise is not on as firm a financial footing as previously believed. Don't get me wrong, the 24 year old Franson isn't going to be an elite NHL player, and with his best years ahead of him he is a quality addition to the Leafs roster.

The Predators are going to arbitration with Shea Weber, which should put him in the $6M dollar range. This franchise will very likely finish the season paying the league minimum for team salary. They would probably pay less than that if they were not forced to reach the floor by the league.

And Leaf fans, you did not just acquire Scott Neidermayer, so relax. Good deal, but don't start planning your Stanley Cup parade. I'm sure Burke would love to get rid of Komisarek.

UPDATE: 24 hours later I had a text message argument with a Leaf fan friend about just how big this deal is. Look, the Leafs gave up nothing of significance to acquire Franson, but remember that Cody ranked 8th among defensemen in average ice time on the Predators last season. He isn't very good on the power play and he doesn't kill penalties. He only played 15 minutes per game, 2 min less than Shane O'Brien. Experts describe his ice time as "playing protected minutes". We'll see what that means for the Maple Leafs next season.

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