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Former Blackhawks defenseman Cody Franson signs 2-year deal with KHL’s Avangard

The 31-year-old is heading to Russia.

Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Former Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs defenseman Cody Franson signed a two-year deal with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk. The news was first reported by Igor Eronko of Sport-Express.

Avangard is coached by Bob Hartley, who won the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche and was most recently the head coach for the Latvian national team after being fired by the Calgary Flames.

Franson, 31, attended Chicago’s training camp last fall on a professional tryout contract and was signed to a one-year deal on the opening day of the regular season. The right-handed defenseman scored one goal and assisted on six others in 23 games for Chicago. He also tallied nine goals and 28 points for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL to help them reach the Calder Cup playoffs. Franson added 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 13 postseason contests.

The veteran blueliner has recorded 212 points (43 goals, 170 assists in 550 NHL career games during his nine-year career with the Nashville Predators (2009-11, 2015), Toronto Maple leafs (2011-2015) and Buffalo (2015-17). He was drafted by the Predators in the third round of the 2005 NHL draft.