Leafs lock up Franson to avoid arbitration

Cody Franson is glad to have avoided arbitration and is now looking forward to a new season with the Leafs and meet the new faces of the team.

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs and Cody Franson have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract worth US$3.3 million.

It’s the third straight one-year deal for Franson, who missed most of training camp last season after a contract dispute.

With this one, the 26-year-old gets a raise from the $2 million he made in 2013-14, when he led all Toronto defencemen with 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) and ranked second in the NHL in hits (282).

Franson, a third-round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2005, has 28 goals and 105 assists and a plus-eight rating in 322 career NHL games.

The six-foot-five 213-pound native of Sicamous, B.C., was acquired by the Maple Leafs along with Matthew Lombardi from the Predators on July 3, 2011 in exchange for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney.