The Chicago Blackhawks have added to their roster shakeup by placing defenseman Cody Franson on waivers, according to the rush of tweets that happens around noon ET anytime someone gets placed on waivers. The move comes not long after the team recalled Tomas Jurco from the AHL and reassigned John Hayden to Rockford.
Franson will be available to claim by the other 30 teams for the next 24 hours. He’s signed to an affordable one-year, $1 million contract, so there’s a good chance that he’s on a new team Tuesday afternoon.
The defenseman becomes the odd man out after the Blackhawks had spent the first half of the season with eight blue liners on their roster. He had joined the Hawks on a PTO in training camp after declining offers from other teams, and signed a deal on the first day of the season after Marian Hossa was placed on long-term injured reserve.
Franson recorded one goal, six assists, and a team-high 8.4 percent 5-on-5 Corsi in 23 games with the Blackhawks. He had the highest zone start rating (64.6) of any defenseman on the team, so he was being fed favorable opportunities to create offensively, but apparently his very good results in those minutes weren’t enough to save his job.
With the move, the Blackhawks now have four left-handed defensemen (Duncan Keith, Gustav Forsling, Michal Kempny, Jordan Oesterle) and three right-handed defensemen (Brent Seabrook, Connor Murphy, Jan Rutta) on their active roster. In the 4-1 win over the Oilers on Sunday, Murphy and Franson were healthy scratches.
It’s not shocking that the Hawks didn’t want to carry eight defensemen all season, but it is a little unexpected that Franson did pretty much exactly what you’d hope for and still got waived. In this case, it seems like a matter of the pieces simply not fitting together properly. I’ll have more on this soon, but it’s fair to say that some other team should claim Franson because he’s a good, cheap player.