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A Preds Blogger's Take on Franson

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Jeremy K. Gover runs the Predators blog "Section 303", self-described as the "loudest section in the loudest arena in the NHL". Jeremy was kind enough to write up his thoughts on Cody Franson for us so be sure to visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @Cellblock303. - Chemmy

Cody Franson is a power play specialist. He gets more shots toward the net than just about anyone, he's got an uncanny knack for keeping pucks from passing over the blueline and he can bring the puck up ice with the best of them. That being said, that's about the extent of his value.

The Salmon Arm, British Columbia native was sheltered by Head Coach Barry Trotz in his two seasons with the Nashville Predators. He rarely played against top competition and while his positioning is solid, his skating leaves him vulnerable. If he's the last one back and someone gets a step on him, you'd have better luck if he headed to the bench for a change than have him try and get back in time. Put simply, he doesn't possess a lot of speed. Okay, he possess no speed. Hence why he's a power play specialist. On the man advantage, his solid positioning is enough. With only having to worry about a small area of ice, Franson it is at his best. All of his strengths glow like a beacon of light. Unfortunately, when he's responsible for the entire sheet of ice, things can get ugly.

Don't get me wrong, "Fruit Cup" is a solid defenseman. He'll be fine on most nights and in most situations. But, instead of consistency across the board, you get rollercoaster highs and lows with him. It'll be interesting to see how the Leafs utilize him and his skill set. If they expect him to be a top four blueliner, they'll be expecting too much. If they expect him to be a member of the bottom pairing and quarterback the powerplay unit, they'll be putting him in the greatest position to succeed.