Maple Leafs’ Franson signs with Brynas in SEL

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson signed a one-year contract with Brynas IF Gavle in the Swedish Elite League.

Despite reports that Franson, who is currently a restricted free agent, will play the entire season in Europe regardless how long the lockout lasts, the blue-liner does have the option to return to the Maple Leafs if the two sides agree to a new contract and the lockout ends.

Last season with the Leafs, the 25-year-old had 21 points, 22 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating in 57 games. Prior to getting traded to Toronto, Franson registered 50 points, 46 penalty minutes and a combined plus-25 rating in 141 games over two seasons with the Nashville Predators.

While many NHLers have signed overseas, only a handful have decided to go to Sweden due to certain rules and regulations.

“It’s really inspiring to come to Brynas and stay the whole season,” Franson said in a statement. “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.”

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