SOURCE: Cody Franson’s two-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres is now complete, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports.  The deal carries an average annual value of $3.3 million, according to McKenzie.  The two sides were reportedly working on the contract in Buffalo on Wednesday night before finalizing it Thursday.

Thank God.  Free agent defenseman Cody Franson is finally employed.  And thankfully it’s not with the Boston Bruins.  The Buffalo Sabres landed a good, but not close to great, defenseman in Franson and we don’t have to hear the the constant chatter of him maybe becoming a Bruin anymore.

As I stated in previous blogs I did not want the Bruins to sign Franson. Not because he’s a terrible player but because I think the young affordable defensemen the Bruins have been developing are ready, or equally as good as what Franson brings to the table.  Zach “Quadzilla” Trotman had a great showing last season when called up from Providence and he and his legs look ready to take the next step.  Joe Morrow, acquired in the Seguin trade, will also have a good opportunity in camp.  Not to mention the newly acquired Colin Miller (from Los Angeles) is a really good prospect and depth option who will absolutely compete for ice time.  Sweeney must be feeling confident in what they already have.  Consistently one of the top defensive teams every year, the Bruins “develop and promote from within” system has shown to be a successful model.  Examples would be Torey Krug, Johnny Boychuk, Kevan Miller, and Adam McQuaid all working their way up through Providence.

It’s not to say bringing in a more proven and experienced defenseman would have been a bad move.  Franson probably would have done okay in Boston.  But the proven and experienced defenseman they need to bring in needs to be a stud.  And if the Bruins were going to have to commit nearly $3.3 million a year to a relatively inconsistent top-4 defenseman, as I’ve said before, they are better off passing on Franson.  He’s not that good or deserving of that much money.  They’d be much wiser (which we’ll eventually find out) to save that money on a more proven player down the road, and if need be trade some of their younger assets for that missing true stud defenseman.

A new top-4 defenseman may be in Boston by seasons end.  I’m just glad Don Sweeney is making sure he gets what he wants and not just signing the last best free agent available.