July 03, 2008

Jonas Frögren to the Leafs?

Stay-at-home defenseman Jonas Frögren had an excellent World Championship in Canada about 2 months ago. The performance attracted interest from Chicago and Colorado earlier this off-season, but the lack of an agreement between the NHL and Europe stopped the transfer.

Frögren got a contract with the SEL team Färjestad and the contract lacks an NHL out-clause. Färjestad wants 2 million SEK (about $335k) for him, but the NHL teams aren't allowed to pay transfer fees. In other words, Frögren would have had to pay the transfer fee himself, so the negotiations fell apart that time.

Now it looks like he could be on the way to the NHL again and this time to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher hinted it in The Globe and Mail, when he said "it's not a current NHL player" the Leafs have on their radar. Hockeysverige.se has followed it up and gotten a confirmation from Färjestad that Frögren is the player who Toronto is going after.

- They are pulling in him and seem very interested. Our demand on more money in compensation than under the old NHL/Europe agreement ($200k) is still there though, says Färjestad's GM Thomas Rundqvist to hockeysverige.se about Toronto's interest.

- It's not impossible that we can reach a solution, but it depends on them. But I don't want to speculate about percentages left and right on the chances of it happening or not. It should also be said that we preferably want to keep Jonas.

For how long are you willing to negotiate?
- It's late enough already. So if anything will happen, then it has to happen pretty soon. It's nothing that will drag out for a couple weeks or so, concludes Rundqvist.

Personally I'm hoping that Färjestad ends up letting him go. It's not every day a player gets a chance like this and 27-year-old Frögren has been in the Färjestad organization since his junior days. They should award his loyalty.

Solution? I don't know how much Frögren is willing to pay to realize his NHL dream, but I guess Färjestad either needs lower their demands or Toronto overpaying a bit to give Frögren some extra cash for paying the transfer fee.

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