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2014-2015 OTF Report Card: Cody Franson

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We're going down the roster and grading each player's performance this season. Next up, the infamous Cody Franson

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Stats

Season GP

Season G

Season A

Season P

Season PIM

Season S

Season S%

78

7

29

36

28

84

3.9

Nsh GP

Nsh G

Nsh A

Nsh P

Nsh PIM

Nsh S

Nsh S%

23

1

3

4

2

35

2.9

5v5 P/60

5v5 SAT

5v5 SAT% Rel

5v5 SCF%

5v5 GF%

5v5 PDO

TOI/60

0.20

45

5.44

57.72

47.35

97.12

15.01

Season Summary

If you're one for omens, the eventual outcome of the trade that brought Cody Franson to the Predators was never in doubt. The phones had barely cooled when the Universe, FedEx and the US Customs Office came together to desperately try and prevent Franson from ever donning a Gold jersey. From that moment on, things went decidedly wrong on all fronts for Franson and his new team.

While Franson's short second stay in Nashville cannot, and should not be turned into the reason for the Predator's plummeting performance, Franson never truly settled in, and seemed to almost immediately lose the trust of both the fans and coaching staff. Therein lies the dilemma. A closer analysis of Franson's numbers shows he actually played reasonably well in limited time for Nashville. Franson suffered from being in the wrong place at the wrong time over and over again which made his mistakes all the more exasperating to watch and crippled his reputation with the coaching staff, leading to less minutes and fewer opportunities.

Even in the Playoffs where he finally received more ice time, Franson's sharper play was hampered by an abysmal .886 5v5 save percentage in very sheltered minutes; again illustrating the bad luck (or Jokinen Curse) which haunted Franson in his time here.

That being said, Franson's game has never been all that pretty. As Sam Page pointed out earlier in the season, Franson has always been a player who looks bafflingly outclassed at times and just plays a funky brand of hockey, but no matter how you spin it, his advanced stats show him to be a player who is extremely valuable on the ice in all situations. Unfortunately for the Predators, for a player who was brought in to be a reliable and consistent veteran presence, there was just too much funky and not enough functionality to classify Franson as any type of success.

Highlight Moments

Franson helped the Preds to their best offensive performance of the season. The best part? They didn't even have to pay him to do it.

The Road Ahead

His apocalyptic time in Nashville aside, Franson had a solid season, and will be a top defenseman in free agency this offseason. He put up numbers on a terrible Toronto team that arguably make him the best flex top two pairing D-man available.

In Toronto he was a player who excelled in special teams situations and in eating large ice time, roles that Laviolette seemed unwilling to trust him with. Instead, Franson's ice time continued to shrink, and he was even benched for Victor Bartley late in the season. His on ice results, the money he will demand and Poile's complete reversal on his value to the team seem a clear indication that Franson will be taking his talents elsewhere this offseason.

Spirit Animal

The jackalope. It sounds really great in theory, but when you finally get your hands on one it turns out to be a stuffed and mounted mess of mismatched, non-compatible parts.

OTF Average Grade: D-