TORONTO - Cody Franson went all the way to Sweden to realize he has to start playing physical hockey to keep his NHL career on the rails.
Okay, so it might not be that cut and dried for the Maple Leafs defenceman, who spent the lockout patrolling the blue line for Brynas IF in the Swedish Elite League.
But the 6-foot-5, 213-pound Franson, about to embark on his fourth season in the NHL, apparently is ready to grasp the fact he has to start using his body to his advantage.
“Definitely,” Franson said on Tuesday.
“It’s a knock that has followed me around forever. Be better defensively, be more physical. I am trying to improve on everything. I want to get more shots through to the net. Be good in the defensive zone.
“Be a guy who is accountable. I don’t want to be a guy who people are hesitant to put on the ice in (certain) situations.”