An observer of the week of silence in the Mark Fraser contract dispute with the Maple Leafs opined that "sometimes it's best to say nothing." That played out Tuesday morning when the fiesty defenceman and the club dodged a date with NHL salary arbitrator Fred Horowitz and agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.275 million US. It's not known yet who blinked with the early morning call before the hearing in Toronto began. But Fraser's career year would have almost certainly helped Horowitz to lean in the direction of his $2 million US filing rather than the Leafs' slight raise to $855000 US. The Leafs like Fraser very much but were trying to save every dollar possible of their remaining $6 million of cap space in order to get their other restricted free agents defenceman Cody Franson and centre Nazem Kadri under contract. The Leafs savings account under the NHL's $64.3 million cap is less than $5 million now with the knowledge Franson and Kadri won't come cheap.
Leafs re-sign Mark Fraser ahead of arbitration hearing
Toronto Sun | Jul 30