Dhiren Mahiban tweeted yesterday that the Blackhawks are in the mix, along with the Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks to sign Cody Franson. The 30 year old defenseman has played the last two seasons in Buffalo and is one of the last remaining dependable blue liners on the market.
Franson has sat and watched other top free agent defensemen scoop up multi-year and multi-million dollar contracts this offseason. Given how late it is getting in the offseason, it is likely that he will settle for a one-year deal.
He is 6’5″ 225 lbs with a right-handed shot and has solid puck possession skills, with a career 52.6 Corsi For percentage. Franson’s sure-handed play would fit in behind Brent Seabrook and Connor Murphy on the right side. With the current roster heading into training camp the Blackhawks have Michal Rozsival, Ville Pokka and recently signed Jan Rutta vying for that spot.
There is still question as to how his contract would be structured because of available money and Marian Hossa’s contract. Right now Franson could only receive, at best, a one-year contract valued at less than $1 million. There is the possibility of signing him to a tryout agreement and then waiting to give him a one-year contract after they put Hossa on LTIR.
Franson won’t be a game-changer for the Blackhawks and it will take some working of the numbers and the system to sign him. He will give the team more dependability on that third pairing that they are unsure of with the players they have heading into camp.
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Hearing former #Leafs D Cody Franson deciding between Chicago, Edmonton, Vancouver and San Jose. Looking like a one-year deal for the UFA.
— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) September 5, 2017