Although he has played a big role since being demoted to the AHL, defenseman Cody Franson told Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Blackhawks next season:
“I’m quite certain I won’t be back next year. This year obviously didn’t go the way that I envisioned it going and they’re in a situation with their group right now where they’re in kind of a transitional period. They’ve got some young guys that started to get some experience this year and they’ve got all those guys signed up for next year, so I’ll be looking for something different I think unless something changes. Obviously it’s not like my door’s closed, but I don’t see it going that way.”
Franson signed a tryout deal with Chicago back before training camp and successfully parlayed that into a one-year, $1MM contract. However, it didn’t take long before he fell out of the lineup which led to him being waived and demoted back in early January. In the end, he finished up the season with just 23 NHL games played while averaging 16:37 per night, his lowest ice time since 2011-12.
The 30-year-old has had success as a power play quarterback in the past and he has been productive with AHL Rockford (28 points in 37 regular season games and eight in seven postseason contests. However, given how the league passed on him midseason, he may have to take a two-way pact or settle for another tryout this time around.