Franson signs one-year contract with Maple Leafs

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 3:50 PM NHL.com

Defenseman Cody Franson signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, not long before his salary arbitration hearing was to begin.

Multiple media reports said the contract will pay Franson $3.3 million this season. He can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

"I'm preparing to come to camp in good shape and I'm going to work toward putting my best foot forward here and getting off to a good start," Franson said.

Franson, who turns 27 on Aug. 8, had five goals and 33 points in 78 games for the Maple Leafs last season.

"We were always hopeful. You never want to go through [the arbitration] process if you can avoid it," Franson said. "We were down with the arbitrator, the arbitrator was in the room, and we never got into portraying our case or anything like that. We started negotiating just before we went in and were able to figure something out before everything started."

Franson said he hopes to play well enough to earn a multiyear contract next time around, but in the meantime he likes the potential he sees in Toronto this season.

"My main focus is having a good season with Toronto. I think our team is a very good team and we're capable of doing something special and I think we can definitely make that happen," he said. "We were close last year, we had a bit of a meltdown, but I think they made some good moves that will help us in that area.

"It's funny how it works, when the team succeeds, every individual finds success within that, so that's how I'm approaching it and I'm worrying about the team winning first and foremost."

A third-round pick (No. 79) by the Nashville Predators in the 2005 NHL Draft, Franson has 28 goals and 133 points in 322 games with the Predators and Maple Leafs. He has four goals and 13 points in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

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