The arbitration hearing for Cody Franson is in two days and the Toronto Maple Leafs could be in trouble if Franson gets what he wants.
Elliotte Friedman tweeted this earlier today.
Franson has submitted $4.2M. TOR has submitted $2M. They can still settle beforehand.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 19, 2014
With the Leafs still needing to re-sign Jake Gardiner and another arbitration hearing for James Reimer still to come, if the arbitrator awards Franson the $4.2 million he wants, the Leafs might need to get creative. The arbitrator could award anywhere between the two submissions or even above Franson’s submissions. [related-content]
What’s worrisome is Franson’s case seems pretty strong. Mike Augello of HockeyBuzz put together the average salary of the 10 players closest to Franson’s point total and that average is $4.018. So, to the arbitrator, Franson’s submission might seem reasonable.
So what do the Leafs do if they don’t like the reward?
Well, there’s a few options. The simplest one would be to walk away from the contract, a team’s right when a player wins an arbitration hearing. Obviously, the Leafs would not get anything in return for him this way. The next option is trade him. The problem could be is that with the higher cap hit, some teams that were interested in him before might not be as interested in three days.
We will find out what the future holds for Cody Franson’s bank account in two days. What will it mean for the Leafs and could it force him off the team that he grew up loving?