Maple Leafs could still see Cody Franson in lineup
Restricted free agent signs with Swedish team
TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Cody Franson signed with Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (Michael Peake/QMI Agency/Files)
TORONTO - Cody Franson has gone to Sweden, but still could be back on the Maple Leafs blue line this season.
“We would have two hurdles to clear — the lockout first and the Leafs would have to sign him,” Franson’s agent, Gerry Johannson, said on Monday afternoon.
“If those two things happen, he can return.”
Franson, a restricted free agent, signed with Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League on Monday. Johannsson is relatively confident a deal with the Leafs can get done when the lockout ends.
In a statement that came from the team, Franson was quoted as saying, “It’s really inspiring to come to Brynas and stay the whole season. Now that I got a chance to come here myself, there wasn’t much to think. Heard only positive from those who’ve been here before. Probably takes a couple of games to get used to but I look forward to it and see it as good experience.”
With the Leafs last season, Franson was a healthy scratch at times and had five goals and 16 assists in 57 games. He had been acquired from the Nashville Predators along with forward Matthew Lombardi and future considerations for Brett Lebda, Robert Slaney and future considerations in July 2011.
Franson told the Toronto Sun last month that he was returning to his off-season home in Kelowna, B.C., to skate with other NHLers and be ready to “step in and play well” when the lockout ended.