Sabres sign Cody Franson for two years, $3.325M per-season

Cody Franson watch might finally be coming to an end.

The last of the top unrestricted free agents appears to be on the verge of signing a two-year contract worth around $3.3 million per-year with the Buffalo Sabres according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

A source close to Franson confirmed a deal was close but not done.

First off, if it indeed happens, great, great deal for Buffalo. Franson made $3.3 million last season. He was expected to get more than two years on the unrestricted free agent market. But teams seemed scared of the defenseman after a trade to Nashville last season saw him notch just four points in 23 games

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In 55 games with the Maple Leafs before the deal he had 32 points.

As On the Forecheck pointed out, Franson wasn’t exactly terrible with the Predators, even though his numbers indicated so.

Franson was a victim of being a good defenseman in the wrong situation. All of his underlying numbers were phenomenal: When adjusting for score, he saw 56% of all total shot attempts go towards the opposing goaltender, more than any other Preds defenseman. He also was only on the ice for 23.85 shots per 60 minutes, the fewest of any blue liner since joining the team. 

The Predators simply had too many right-handed defensemen and Franson found himself buried on the depth chart behind players who had played on the team all season.

It stunk for Franson but was understandable since he was playing behind Shea Weber, Ryan Ellis and Seth Jones.

Franson is a 6-foot-4 puck-moving defenseman with a tremendous snap-shot.

He's a total steal for that price. Francois Beauchemin, who is 35 years old, got three years and $13.5 million from the Avalanche. Franson is getting less than half that amount and he’s seven years younger.

At least Franson got more than just one year. His last three contracts were all for one season – though per-year raises.

UPDATE:  Franson signed for two years at $3.325 million per-season. The contract numbers were reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. The Sabres sent out a release confirming the deal.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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