Bob McKenzie has reported that average annual value of the contract to be $3.3 million and he says that Franson is in Buffalo right now to finalize terms on the deal.
Franson has been one of the biggest names floating around this summer and many were surprised that he wasn’t signed sooner. We reported back in July that there were “five or six teams” kicking the tires on the blueliner, but cap concerns got in the way and a deal never came. The Arizona Coyotes and Boston Bruins were said to be very interested in Franson’s services.
In 78 regular season games, he posted a respectable 36 points. The trouble is that 32 of those points came in 55 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, while he only managed four points in Nashville over the course of 23 games.
In the end, things didn’t pan out on the Predators. Part of that was due to his disappointing numbers and part of that was due to Nashville’s massive group of right-handed shots. With the likes of Shea Weber, Ryan Ellis and Seth Jones in the tank, finding room for Franson at his asking price wasn’t in the cards.
Buffalo has a lot of right-handed shots, too, with Zach Bogosian, Rasmus Ristolainen and Mark Pysyk among their number.
Still, Franson should be a good fit on the Sabres. He has a great point shot and can run the power play, which gives Buffalo another option beside Ristolainen to handle the man-advantage. Throw in Dan Bylsma’s game plan and this is a very good thing for the Sabres.