Apr 4, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers forward Jay Rosehill (37) skates in front of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson (4) and goaltender James Reimer (34) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Free Agency: James Reimer & Cody Franson File For Arbitration – Will They Be Traded?


The Toronto Maple Leafs had two of their restricted free agents file for salary arbitration with the NHL on Saturday. Goaltender James Reimer and defenseman Cody Franson were among a total number of 20 players that filed in time, the biggest being P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.

With arbitration hearings taking place in the next month or so, let’s hope Reimer and Franson’s hearings are among the first to take place because what they receive in arbitration could impact what else the Leafs can do. With the Leafs also needing to sign fellow RFAs such as Jake Gardiner and Peter Holland, hopefully the Leafs win the arbitration case.

Franson has a pretty strong case for a raise. He might not have had the best season defensively, but astoundingly, he had the most points for a Leafs defenseman last season. That will almost assuredly get him a raise over the $2 million he made last season.

Reimer’s case is not as strong if you look at last season. However, if you take into account the 2012-13 season, his case suddenly becomes a lot stronger. Having a $1.8 million cap hit for the past three seasons, Reimer is in line for at least a slight raise.

So, what happens if the Leafs don’t like the rulings given out? Well, they could always just refuse the contract, just as the Atlanta Thrashers did with Clarke MacArthur a few years ago. However, I don’t think that is very

likely.

Both Reimer and Franson have been surrounded by trade rumors since the season ended. Reimer has even gone as far as asking for a trade. If the Leafs can’t come to an agreement with these two players between now and their arbitration hearings, they might just cut their losses and trade them.

Franson would bring a better return than Reimer would, but in the rush of trying to get rid of contracts, prospects are what I think the Leafs would be getting in return. That wouldn’t be so bad as it would give the Leafs some more cap room to get Gardiner and Holland signed and perhaps go after another unrestricted free agent. I do expect the Leafs to go into the 2014-15 season with some maneuverability when it comes to the cap however.

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Tags: Cody Franson James Reimer NHL Free Agency Toronto Maple Leafs

5 Comments on NHL Free Agency: James Reimer & Cody Franson File For Arbitration – Will They Be Traded?

  1. Stan Smith says:

    On a good note this means no long drawn out negotiations with the player possibly sitting out the start of the season. The result is quick and cut and dried. I personally can’t see either player getting much of a raise, if any, but stranger things have happened. If Reimer does get a raise I hope he is prepared to be the leafs backup because if the leafs can’t get any takers now for him it will be even more difficult with a bigger cap hit.

  2. A13276 says:

    Granberg, a righthanded shot, is NHL ready right now to take Franson’s spot. Franson is good trade bait as he is a right hand shot and plays the PP and scores (relatively) a lot of points. Both he and Reimer are great trade bait. Their stock will only increase as the season progresses as all teams get a better sense of their strengths and especially their weaknesses. As for CAP room; the Leafs have $5 million already even allowing for all the recent signings and anticipated high RFA awards! In other words; they’re in great shape.

    • Stan Smith says:

      I could see there being more interest in Franson than Reimer. Despite his defensive inconsistencies he puts points on the board. With the additions the Leafs made to their D he might actually play better with a more defined role if they don’t trade him. One thing having cap room does is help them in case of injuries or lengthy suspensions, an area they were extremely handicapped last season.

      • A13276 says:

        Help me here – wouldn’t you love to swing a trade for Evander Kane? Winnipeg is desperate to at least making it look like they have a shot at the playoffs in the West – they can’t do that just sitting on their hands. Reimer is a local boy and not many have faith in Pavelec. We can afford to lose Franson but we need one more piece I’d say – would not give up a sure prospect or 1st rounder though. Reimer, Franson and Lupul maybe. One of Kane or Bufylien are gone somewhere within 6 or 7 weeks after the season starts.

        • Stan Smith says:

          I don’t think I would give up Lupul at this point in time. I realize he has a history of injuries but he does seem to be a leader out there on a team that is lacking that. It wouldn’t bother me to see Evander Kane on the leafs but I’m not sure he is worth $6 mill a year.

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