The Josh Gorges to Toronto Maple Leafs trade rumor became a little more clear this evening, as Bob McKenzie of TSN gave insight into who would have been coming to the Montreal Canadiens if the deal were to take place.
The rumors began last night, when McKenzie tweeted that Gorges was asked by Habs general manager Marc Bergevin to waive his no trade clause to go to the Leafs, apparently for defenseman Cody Franson. Gorges refused the deal to Toronto, but with the cat out of the bag so to speak, increased the number of teams he would accept a trade to.
Gorges was eventually sent to the Buffalo Sabres this morning, in part one of a blue line roster shuffle that included the addition of Tom Gilbert and Mike Weaver to the right side of the Habs defense pairings. You have to imagine if the trade with the Maple Leafs took place, the the Canadiens would not have signed Gilbert, and possibly not Weaver either.
Franson is a huge defenseman at 6’5” and 215 pounds, who is also a right handed defenseman. He is quite capable of playing a physical game, and moving the puck up ice, and could have been a great fit on the Canadiens second pairing, slotting behind P.K. Subban.
Franson had 33 points this season with the Leafs, after scoring 29 in just 45 games during the lockout shortened 2013 season. He is a restricted free agent, so it is difficult to say what his next contract will cost, but it would certainly be for more than the two year 2.8 million per season contract that Gilbert agreed to today.
However, Franson is not, and will not be a member of the Montreal Canadiens, but it is interesting to note that he is the player Montreal wanted in exchange for Gorges, and ultimately led to Gorges leaving town.