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TORONTO – On the third day of July in the summer of 2011 the Nashville Predators flipped Matthew Lombardi to Toronto. Lombardi still had two years to go on a pricey three-year contract and questions lingered as to whether he would ever play again. To grease him along to the Maple Leafs and subsequently free up cap space Nashville had to surrender a 23-year-old defender whom they drafted and developed in the third round of the 2005 draft. That trade surprised Cody Franson. Another deal that may come to pass in the coming five weeks isnt likely to sneak up on the 6-foot-5 defenceman. His name has been bandied about in trade speculation almost to no end during three-plus seasons in Toronto, that chatter only heating up again recently. An impending unrestricted free agent this summer, Franson and the Leafs have yet agree upon terms for a new deal. Given that murky contract status and the clubs rapid descent out of a playoff spot – 14 losses in 17 games - speculation picked up that the club may opt to move the 27-year-old defender before the Mar. 2 trade deadline. Its one of those things where its everywhere you go, said Franson of the trade talk. If its not on the radio its on the TV. If its not on the TV its on any Twitter feed and even though I dont have [a Twitter account] sometimes its tough to stay away from. Teammates will crack jokes about the possibility. Buddies from back home in Sicamous, B.C. will fire texts with links to some rumour or another. Try as he might Franson cant really escape the swell of speculation – real or fiction – that surrounds his future. At the end of the day its not in my hands, he said. I can control how I play and try and continually prove my worth here to this team and how I want to be here. Those decisions ultimately get made by the people upstairs and theyve got a tough job. Fransons stock has risen this year. Hes emerged with increased responsibilities, is well on his way to a career-high in points and is that rare right-shot defender with size and puck-moving skills. All of that makes him a desired candidate for trade before the deadline and a candidate for a large contract on July 1 – one the Leafs may not be prepared to pay. Franson, who signed his third consecutive one-year deal worth $3.3 million last summer, wants to stay in Toronto and always has, but hell also be after fair value. And given how tightly the organization squeezed him previously in restricted free agency theres no reason to expect him to settle for less. Torontos cap situation, additionally, complicates his future with the club beyond this season. Already looking tight with next years potential cap (projected to be between $71-73 million) and restricted free agents in Jonathan Bernier and Nazem Kadri still to be signed, the Leafs may not have room to ink Franson to the kind of hefty contract hes in line to demand (and get) in free agency. That could change if Brendan Shanahan and his front office staff opt to dramatically restructure the roster, be it now or in the summer months. One such option would be to move Dion Phaneuf – who has six years remaining with an annual cap hit of $7 million – to create the space needed to sign Franson (not to mention Bernier and Kadri), who is two years younger and just reaching his potential. That would leave a foundation on defence of Franson, Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner as well as future (potential) parts like Stuart Percy, Petter Granberg and Tom Nilsson. (Toronto will get a look at such a unit in the coming days with Phaneuf sidelined on a week-to-week basis, the result of a week-old fight with Milan Michalek.) The Leafs could still trade Franson before the deadline and then attempt to woo him back in free agency. But if theyre not willing to meet his price now its entirely reasonable to suspect they wont do so later. Its an odd dynamic for Franson at the moment. He wants to be a Leaf, wants to commit to the club for the long haul and yet could be lifted off the roster at any moment. When youre in that situation, he explained, where youre in the place where you want to be and you hear those trade rumours it makes it tough to swallow that pill sometimes. [But] coming through the whole process of trying to make pro and through juniors and into the NHL the second you think you understand what theyre trying to do upstairs youre wrong. I couldnt tell you how many times I thought I knew what they were going to do and they did something completely different. I try to take every rumour for what its worth and at the end of the day I dont know whats going to happen so I approach it like Im going to be here and this is where I want to be. And until that day comes or if that day comes Ill figure it out from there. Anton Khudobin Jersey . The Arena das Dunas in the northeastern city of Natal sustained minor damage during the protests, but demonstrators stayed away on Sunday and officials said the stadium passed its first test, with only minor adjustments needed going forward. Austin Czarnik Jersey . For Bergevin, the best pick is the 30th — which traditionally goes to the Stanley Cup winner. "Thats our goal. http://www.thebostonbruinshockey.com/de ... ersey/.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to complete a sweep of the Washington Capitals when the clubs cap a quick home-and-home series Tuesday night in the Steel City. 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Though the Cavaliers have set the season-ticket sales benchmark this year -- they sold out more than 12,000 season tickets within eight hours of announcing LeBron James had signed with Cleveland - the Raptors have boosted season ticket sales this season by 50 per cent over last year. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chief commercial officer Dave Hopkinson said the Raptors have sold 12,500 season seats, up from about 8,000 a year ago. The team on Saturday began informing fans it was sold out of season tickets. The Raptors strong play on the court has been the talk of the NBA and also offers a reminder that in professional sports, there is no tonic to bolster a teams bottom line like winning. Its unprecedented, Hopkinson told TSN in an interview, adding that the Rapptors have never before experienced a 50 per cent year-over-year season ticket increase.dddddddddddd Its a testament to the commitment our fans and the marketplace are making to the Raptors. Season tickets is a commitment. This means we will be able to sell out every game this season, Hopkinson said. That means a louder, more energetic environment for the fans and a major home court advantage for the team. He said the Raptors success puts us in elite company in the NBA. Our business has surged. Record TV ratings, sponsorships, ticket sales and consumer product sales. We are setting high water marks across the board. The Raptors plan to announce the sell-out with ads in the Toronto market that could debut as soon as Monday. New corporate sponsors also include Sun Life Insurance, Sentry Investments, Unilever and China-based car tire maker Aeolus Tires. MLSE charges about $700 to $7,500 for season tickets. The only time the team has sold out previously was during the 2000-01 season, during Vince Carters heyday. Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys 2020 ' ' '