The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with defenseman Cody Franson on a one-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.
Franson, who signed a tryout contract with the Blackhawks before training camp began, scored three goals and registered 16 assists last season with the Buffalo Sabres. His NHL career has also included stops in Nashville and Toronto, where he saw most of his NHL success.
Franson’s addition to the roster was made possible by the Blackhawks’ decision to place Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve, which they did on Wednesday morning. The move allows the Blackhawks to exceed the salary cap by $5.3 million this season, and will allow the team to make moves later in the year to bolster their roster.
Franson is expected to play a second or third pairing role on the Blackhawks’ blue line, providing a veteran presence on a team that has several younger players including Michal Kempny, Jan Rutta, and Gustav Forsling.
The Blackhawks’ first game is scheduled for Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, with coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago.