Can I be picky for a minute?
The Oilers need a defenceman. More specifically, the Oilers need a right shot defenceman who can play top four minutes. I don’t want to spend a lot on one, because we haven’t figured out whether or not what the club is going to do with Jordan Eberle. Short term deal. One year for now. What can we do?
Let’s take a look. I’ve set the ‘cheap’ meter at no more than four million on a one year deal. Anything in the basket?
2016-17 TEAM: BUFFALO
BOXCARS: 3-16-19 (68 GP)
2016-17 CAP HIT: 3.325
Buffalo didn’t score many goals in 2016-17 (24th overall) but they did carry the league’s number one power play. I’m interested in Franson simply for him to be the right handed shot on the second power play unit. Franson is coming off a season that saw him split his time with three Sabre defencemen in Zach Bogosian, Jake McCabe and Josh Gorges (ugh). but he had the second most ice time on the power play. The man can move the puck and for the right dollar amount (<4MM on a one year deal), I’d be interested in kicking his tires after the expansion draft.
Leon is going to get paid handsomely for a long time starting in July, and we’re carefully watching what the club plans on doing with the Kris Russell situation. I don’t see an endgame right now that keeps him in an Oiler sweater if the term is only a year. If they can work it out between Russell and Franson for a year (a high number is something like 8MM between the both of them), there could be a bigger roster move if there’s no movement on the cap ceiling this summer.
The club needs someone on the right side, and they need someone on the left side to fill in with Andrej Sekera possibly being out until after the new year. Franson would be a pretty good stop gap on the right side for 2017-18 and could be yours, if the price is right.