Contract dispute won't stop Frogren

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

Don Meehan, agent for new Maple Leafs defenceman Jonas Frogren, says the Swede's contract interpretation issue with the NHL is much ado about nothing.

"He's coming here anyway," Meehan said flatly yesterday at Lakeshore Lions Arena, where he discussed the hiccup with Leafs assistant general manager Jeff Jackson.

The league this week rejected the two-year contract that the Leafs submitted, claiming Frogren should be classified as a rookie because he was drafted by Calgary 10 years ago and never signed, thus limiting him to be paid less than $1 million US in entry-level money for the coming season.

But Toronto management believes in another interpretation of the CBA, that as a 28-year-old (as of next month), he is a free agent and due Leafs money amounting to more than $2 million over the next two years, partly to cover buying himself out of his Swedish club contract with Farjestad.

If the NHL Players' Association decides to file a grievance in the next few days, the process could take much of the summer and into the autumn, but Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher says the bottom line is Frogren can play while the matter is in dispute.


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