Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson commits to play for Gavle in Sweden

GAVLE, Sweden – Cody Franson is on his way to the Swedish Elite League to play for Brynas.

How long the unsigned Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman stays there remains to be seen.

In annoncing the signing Monday, the Swedish Elite League team made it sound like Franson would be around for the entire season, but his agent later clarified that he had the option to return to North America if the lockout ended and a contract could be reached with the Leafs.

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The 25-year-old defenceman is a restricted free agent who went unsigned by Toronto throughout the summer.

He made US$800,000 while appearing in 57 games with the Leafs last season, scoring five goals and 21 points.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Franson was an unrestricted free agent.