Cody Franson practicing with the Rams
Possibly the worst time of the year to be one of those up-and-coming 20-year old hockey players that set out to make the team of whatever team drafted them.
Fourteen players who were at the Toronto Maple Leafs camp this month were given those notices they probably wish never existed. Of course they have to find out their fate sooner or later, but it is a hard time nonetheless.
Frederik Gauthier, the Leafs top draft pick this summer was returned to the Quebec Major Junior League where he will re-join the Rimouski Oceanic.
There are now 37 players remaining in the hopes of making the Leafs. Thirty-seven players are competing to fill 23 roster spots.
Also being returned to Major Junior are: Ryan Rupert-London, Kevin Raine-Sudbury. Joining the AHL’s Toronto Marlies are: forwards Sam Carrick, Andrew Crescenzi, Jerry D’Amigo, Josh Leivo, Greg McKegg and Brad Ross. Defenders going back are: Peter Granberg, Dylan Yeo and Zachary Yuen. Goaltenders are Christopher Gibson and Garret Sparks.
Those who are going to make Coach Carlyle’s job a little harder later by sticking around are: Carter Ashton, a big physicaly player who has impressed through 2 pre-season games so far. There is a third game with Ottawa tomorrow night on TSN/TSN2. Tyler Biggs and Stuart Percy, both 1st round draft picks from 2011. Enforcer Jamie Devane who scored on a point shot in Monday’s game against Flyers.
As well as a trio of defencemen, who seem to be doing a swell job helping to keep contract negotiations with Cody Franson not of the utmost importance (even though we should all WANT to see Franson sign very soon).
Anyways, TJ Brennan is still in camp. It is said that he has by far the best one-timer on the team, Andrew MacWilliam, is still in camp. He is supposedly the team’s hardest checker at this point, Morgan Reilly, the Marvel from Moose Jaw (Warriors), he was the team’s top draft pick from last year. It should be a shock if he does not make the team for the October opener, and finally, also being asked to stick around longer, Paul Ranger, on the comeback quest following a 3-year absence from hockey. Also staying for at least another few days is goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who had one of his best showings in goal in the loss against Philadelphia.
It was noted on TSN last night that while Cody Franson’s agent is hard at work on his client’s behalf, to try and work out a deal to bring him to camp before it’s done, Franson is working out with the University of Ryerson Rams to keep in shape while contract talks continue.
“I think it’s in my best interests and the team’s best interests to do it (sign a one-year deal). That’s part of negotiations. We’ll see how it goes,” offers Franson.
Franson had a career year last season with four goals and 25 assists in the lock-out shortened season, leading all Leafs defencemen in points.
Franson is believed to be asking for a one-year deal worth $3 million, hoping that next season — when the salary cap rises — he can sign a longer term, bigger money deal.
But as a restricted free agent, he doesn’t have a lot of leverage.
The team has let it be known it wants Franson on a longer deal because too many of its defenceman — including Dion Phaneuf, Mark Fraser, Paul Ranger and Jake Gardiner —have contracts that will expire at the end of the season.
While Franson sits out, it has created an opportunity on the blue line for youngsters like Morgan Rielly or Stuart Percy or a veteran like Ranger.@Game7overtime