Cody Franson Paying Dividends

Not everything has been pretty early in the 2017-18 season for the Blackhawks, but they appear to be finding the right mix on the blue line with Cody Franson in the lineup.

Franson, 30, had a few suitors late in the summer but opted to sign a preseason PTO with the Hawks under the assumption he would get a contract once Marian Hossa was placed on LTIR. He signed a one-year deal with a $1M cap hit on the first day of the regular season.

As coach Joel Quenneville got a feel for the eight defensemen the Blackhawks carried out of camp, Gustav Forsling saw more action than Franson in October. Franson appeared in only three games in the season’s first month, and skated more than 17 minutes in only one of those contests.

But since Forsling went down with an upper-body injury, Franson has taken advantage of his opportunity.

Franson has now appeared in five of the Blackhawks 14 games this season. In those games, the Hawks have allowed only eight goals – and six of those came in a blowout loss in Colorado on Oct. 28. Chicago allowed one goal in each of Franson’s first two games and he has been in the lineup in the last two shutout wins, most recently in Minnesota where Franson skated a season-high 21:56.

He has pitched in with three assists, two of which have come on the power play. Franson has also been credited with five hits and three blocked shots thus far. But perhaps most importantly, Franson leads the Blackhawks with a 55.24 even strength SAT% to date.

Against Minnesota, Franson skated 16:16 at even strength with Duncan Keith; Jan Rutta spent most of his 5-on-5 time (9:21) with Brent Seabrook.

Franson and Keith spent most of the night in Minnesota against Eric Staal, Luke Kunin and Nino Niederreiter, skating more than seven minutes against each of them. The CORSI For % while Franson was with Keith was 72.41 against the Wild, an impressive number against a strong division rival.

As the Blackhawks look to rebound from a rough stretch to close out October, it looks more and more like Franson will be a key part of Chicago building on their recent success.

17 thoughts on “Cody Franson Paying Dividends

  1. He is playing technically sound and needs to because his foot-speed isn’t good. On the other hand Kempy showed two or three bursts that surprised me, perhaps it’s shouldn’t. And he’s in that ‘new’ size frame of preferred NHL d-men. (6 feet, strong and mobile)
    One more addition needed to help Crow, cause he can’t do this (play like the star he is and not wear down) all year.

    Sharp is struggling, would prefer a younger guy from the farm team. His speed and edge (style) are gone. He also has worst plus minus on the team and isn’t being used much on the power play.

  2. Playing better than I gave him credit for but small sample yet. Never logged big minutes consistently over his career like the 20+ he played last night so hopefully he can keep it going. Still not convinced he will be Keiths top pairing mate over the long haul.

  3. Franson has played well, let’s hope he can keep it going. I thought Kempny was very good last night.

  4. Tab, you are spot on, this is in accord with what I have posted prior hereto — Forsling should not be included within the Hawks’ top 6 D-men. So this means he can watch the games from the press box as the 7th D-man, or they can send him to Rockford and let him work on his game. Forsling has a bright future — future being the operative word.

  5. Wow, glowing remarks for a journeyman dman who could not make the Sabres, the Leafs or the Preds and needed a PTO to find a team. Well, there is why CROW is the MVP and we are in dire straits. He may be steady, in fact steadily slow…but that is all we have, thx Stan???
    Now, why is coach Q blinded by the obvious. Dcat ahead of Hartman and Sharp on the depth chart? This is ridiculous. Hartman or Sharp can bring a lot more to the table than this overhyped player, #12… I feel for anyone who needs to lay with BOUMA and WINGELS. But why does it have to be Hartman??? This love Dcat fest is embarassing.

  6. Totti you rail on Debrincat 3g and 4a -1 in first 14 games. But have posted over and over that Jurco who last season had 1 point a goal in 29 games -4and 4g and 2a in 44 games -8 the year before should be given 3o games to prove himself, Just don’t get your point other than fueling your vandetta against Bowman.

  7. @ Totti I couldn’t disagree with you more on every statement you have made. 1st Franson was not some scrap heap player. This was a guy who is a top 4 pairing guy abiet on some poor teams, and who had legit 8-12 offers from other clubs. Kudos to SB to sign him to a PTO while the Org sorted out Hoss. 2nd ADC is a better player and has more upside then Sharp and Hartman. Sharp is just “a guy” at this stage, and Hartman will never get big minutes if he keeps get PIMS and playing selfish. ADC plays a 200ft game which Q will always defer to, it’s smart coaching on his end to be playing ADC more.

  8. I hope we see more Franson and less Forsling from here on out. More Kempny and Rutta too.

    I wouldnt mind Q give Seabroke a maintenence day scratch,occasionally but thats asking way to much.

  9. SSHM- last post spot on… furthermore- Franson- is officially slowest D man on squad… yet- he is doing the job for now… He will- sooner than later- get torched- as did Rosey back in the day…. But like Rosey- solid player… Especially when you factor in the Cap Hit!!! stud- when you factor in cost.

    Noonan96- Great Post… Highmore or Hino should be called up to replace Sharp…

    Or- Sharp moved down to 4th line- and grind… he is more than capable to do that… he would just have to commit… and admit to himself- that he is no longer a top 9 player…

    Highmore- can do all + more of what Sharp is doing so far!!!

  10. Franson is good pair with #2. Rutta on 2. Pair I like. Is it possible to put Seabrook on waivers. To see if anyone would eat his contract. Would be enough to get a good d man and have left over cap space. Maybe loan him to Switzerland like they did with the goalie a while back.

  11. Don’t understand after all the posts wanting the Blackhawks to get younger and faster all summer, that now people are posting to leave the 2nd fastest dman on the roster still on an elc in the pressbox after he played very capable up to getting injured.

  12. @ NOONAN96

    I wouldn’t mind Sharp in the press box and rotate playing time between Hino & Sharp. I’d send down Forsling and bring Hino up. I like Forsling long term but he could benefit from some games in RFD. Franson & Rutta have both out played him so far and deserve more mins.

  13. I will support those who see Franson as a slow footed defenceman. But, he has NHL experience so at times he will look much more steady then the rest of our blue liners. On the Sharp and Hartman topic? I am one who believes both can play ahead of the young DeBrincat. Have not seen anything remotely jaw dropping from #12 that merits time on the 1st line with Toews. 2 empty net goals? Not noticeable on the ice. Hartman dropped the gloves a few games ago to defend a teammate and now he is in the Q dog house. Andrew Shaw did the same thing and he became a legend??? Sorry , those players have a lot more to offer then DCat. But let’s move on because he seems to be a very sensitive topic amongst many of you. All I can say is he does not look noticeable at all out there and his effort is floating at best. I agree. Hinostroza deserves a call up.

  14. We won’t be the ones who decide who plays at the end of the day. What I don ‘t get is after all summer hearing we need Q to play young guys and not put old slow veterans in the big spots, now posters are saying move Sharp with Toews and Franson with Keith and send 12 and 42 to Rockford. Franson is playing well but is he making Keiths game better than with a Rutta would, probably not for long anyways. Will Sharp make Toews and Paniks game better not likely. We wanted youth and I hope it works well.

  15. Totally agree with Noonan and Savoir. Franson is technically sound plus he is 6″5 and his stick length to that and he’s very difficult to get around. It’s Q’ s pet sayings “active” stick.

    Add to that Franson said when he was in Buffalo, they played man to man defense. In other words lock on to one player and stay on him, that requires quickness.

    In the Hawks system, his job is to cover a certain area or territory. From my perspective that would seem to suit his skill set much better.

  16. Craig I disagree Keith is at his best when he can jump up offensively and have a solid defensive type player opposite him. Franson is playing well and have no problem with in lineup but as far as helping no. 2s game he is too much of a defensive liability as you can see he takes a seat on the PK and logs no minutes shorthanded for a reason. PP is his forte.

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