Nashville finalized a deal Wednesday with restricted free-agent defenseman Cody Franson
on a two-year, $1.6 million contract. The 23-year-old Franson had 21 points and a plus-15 rating in 61 games last season as a rookie.
According to a report in The Tennessean, Franson has been in Nashville since Friday and was participating in informal workouts with his teammates as his agent and Predators GM David Poile tried to hammer out a deal.
"I mean, it's not something that a lot of agents would prefer, guys to do without a contract, to go down and start getting ready like this, but I felt it was the best way for me to get ready," Franson told the newspaper. "I wasn't going to let the fact that I didn't have a contract right this second stop me from getting ready for the season."
With Dan Hamhuis
now in Vancouver, ice time has opened and Franson potentially could grab it. He averaged only 14:11 per game last season.
Franson had 88 points over two seasons in the American Hockey League before latching on in Nashville last season. He was the Predators' third-round pick (No. 79) in 2005.