When the Twitter world broke out into rumors of the Bruins closing a deal with Cody Franson, Bruins fans prepared to see the 6-foot 5 inch defenseman in black and gold come fall. However, the hockey world quickly found out that those rumors were in fact false, leaving Boston fans to question what was actually going on in the Bruins front office.
However, just because the deal was not already made doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t eventually. The Bruins could certainly use Franson’s big body and offensive style, however, making a deal would force Boston to give up other pieces in the process due to salary issues.
What could Franson bring to Boston?
Cody Franson would be a bit of a gamble for the Bruins, however, the payoff could be pretty good if things go Boston’s way. For starters, Cody Franson gives Boston an additional right-handed shot on the blueline. He’s an offensive-defenseman (which Boston is in need of, considering their only other true offensive-defenseman is Torey Krug), and could help fill some of the space left by Dougie Hamilton when he was shipped out.
The 27-year-old defenseman is coming off of a career-high season with the Maple Leafs and Predators, during which he tallied 36 points (7 goals and 29 assists) in 78 games. He’s also a veteran defenseman, and is pretty reliable to make smart moves with the puck.
It would be interesting to see what Fanson could do in a different setting. He’s seen his ups and downs in Toronto, partially due to the lack of strength of Maple Leafs teams of late. He also struggled down the road with Nashville, which is why they’ve avoided signing him this offseason.
However, in a much different setting in Boston, Franson could potentially be exactly the player that the Bruins need to help lock down the blueline.
What would it take to bring in Franson?
The next logical step would be to figure out how Boston could bring Franson into town. As of now, the Bruins’ blueline is pretty full, and there’s really no shot of moving Adam McQuaid considering he just signed a new contract with Boston. At the top of the list, the Bruins have Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, both of whom have movement/no trade clauses. On top of that, Boston will most likely want to see some of their lower-line defenseman (Joe Morrow, Colin Miller and Zach Trotman) to battle it out for the 6th spot.
So where does that leave room for Cody Franson? Obviously, Boston will have to deal someone if they want to bring in Cody Franson. With $4.7 million in cap space, Franson would most likely eat up most of, if not all of that room. The question is: who can the Bruins deal?
The most logical option is Dennis Seidenberg. Despite his no trade clause, Boston could probably earn his stamp of approval to move him, and there are probably teams that would be interested in bringing in the veteran defenseman. From there, the Bruins could sign Franson, and move on.
When you crunch the numbers, the chances of Franson coming to Boston are alright, but certainly far from guaranteed. Boston may have to look around the league a bit to find a team that wants Seidenberg, however, the option is definitely there. Despite Franson’s struggles at the end of the season, he still had career-high numbers, and has proven himself as a strong defenseman.
Boston could certainly use his offensive game, as well as his physique, which means a deal with Franson is certainly plausible. However, there’s no reason to assume that the Bruins will be jumping on Franson too desperately either.
Only time will tell.
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!