"I really like playing in Toronto,” Franson said in a statement to TSN.ca. “I think we have a great team and we have some unfinished business to take care of. I learned a lot from the coaches last year and felt like my game took a step forward. I understand the cap situation this team faces and have been ready to sign a one-year deal for some time. I hope this gets worked out soon so I can get back on the ice with my teammates."
According to the report, Franson is willing to take a one-year deal for $3 million, while the team wants to sign Franson for two years. Should that happen, Franson would be an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.
“I understand his position,” Leafs general manager Dave Nonis said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to TSN. “He doesn't feel that this is fair. We want him signed, I'd like to have Cody at camp, but he's not here and we just have to move forward with the group we have.”
Franson posted career numbers in the lockout-shortened season. He was among the top defensemen in points (29) and helped the Maple Leafs return to the postseason for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
The salary cap drops from $70.2 million to $64.3 million this season, the second year of the current collective bargaining agreement.