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NHL Rumors I: Leafs and Franson Close … Arbitration Looming for Reimer and Sobotka

  • James Mirtle: Sounding like the Maple Leafs and Cody Franson will likely avoid their arbitration hearing with a last minute deal today. Will likely split the difference. Mirtle thinks the Leafs still intend to trade Franson. There are lots of decisions that are still up in the air.
  • James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: James Reimer and Cody Franson have been on the trade block all offseason. Some executives have been frustrated with the Maple Leafs as they feel they are overvaluing their players, which may not be the case when it comes to Reimer and Franson.

    Franson is looking for $4.2 million in arbitration, the Leafs submitted $2 million. Franson has recorded 62 points in the past two seasons, 20th overall by defensemen over that span. Talk that they could agree to a $3.2 million one-year deal before the hearing.

    Reimer should have a good arbitration due to the numbers he’s put up on defensively weak team.

  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Though he signed a three year, $12 contract with Omsk of the KHL, Vladimir Sobotka is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing today. Sobotka’s agent Petr Svoboda said recently that Sobotka asked for a trade before he signed the KHL deal when the two sides couldn’t come to a contract agreement. Czech website, iSport.cz, reported that Sobotka indicated he’ll return to the NHL after one year, but with a team other than the Blues. Sobotka has been quoted as saying he had no choice but to sign in the KHL since the Blues wouldn’t trade him. His agent said the Blues “didn’t even want to hear about (a trade).” Blues GM Doug Armstrong was recently unsuccessful in getting a hold of Sobotka.

    “We haven’t talked yet,” Armstrong said. “I think he actually might have already gone to training camp. I left him a message, just thanking him, wishing him well and telling him we’d stay in touch … but no need to call back.”

    The Blues best offer was one-year deal worth $2.7 million, with Sobotka asking for $3 million. The Blues also offered two-years and $6 million. Sobotka is one year away from being a UFA. Sobotka’s KHL deal has an out clause after each season.