Wait I thought Lebda for Franson/Lombardi was the "crap into gold" part?
It was. And is. If you saw Lebda play you'd agree. He's the worst player I have seen play for the Leafs in the last 20 years. Not kidding.
Getting anything for him was a steal. Getting rid of him was a steal.
Lombardi is an NHL player. As is Franson. Getting two NHL players was doubly a steal.
Leafs coaching might be bad, and there goaltending is sub-par no doubt, but that doesn't mean Franson isn't a decent NHL player.
Wilson sat him for half a dozen games and then put him in against Boston -- where everyone looked horrible -- and then sat him again for half a dozen. Cody has had no time to develop anything but rust. Wilson doesn't know how to manage players. He's done the same to Gustavson. Sit him for 6 and then throw him into the fire.
What people in this thread don't realize is the trade was probably Olez (NHL player) and a 2nd (low second). If you understand that it's easy to understand why Burke isn't eager to deal Franson for a salary dump and a low second.
Just because other GM's are trying to do some bargain bin shopping doesn't mean Burke is having a yard sale.
Leaf fans have described Grabovsky as a salary dump before last year. This summer it was Komisarik. Both are playing well now (although Grabo is out for a bit). Franson is just the latest in that line. But the kid is only 24, 6'5", can play the point on the PP, had 30 points last year (or there abouts) and only makes 800K.
When an injury strikes the D, and they always do, Franson will get a string of games and show us what he's really made of. Until then Wilson will continue to mismanage him. But it doesn't make him worthless.