Former Maple Leafs Defenseman Retires From Professional Hockey

Cody Franson has hung up the skates but he's not leaving the hockey community just yet. Franson, 36, retired from professional hockey however he's already lined up his next move, joining the Minnesota Wild organization as an Assistant Coach with their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

Franson joins the bench of the Iowa Wild and will work with their defense core on both power-play and penalty kill. Iowa's head coach Brett McLean had this to say about the hire:

We are excited to welcome Cody to our staff. Cody’s extensive playing experience and enthusiasm to coach will help our defensive group a great deal.

Franson played pro hockey for over 15 seasons, appearing in a total of 957 games spanning across the NHL, KHL, AHL, and SHL. He was originally a third-round pick of the Nashville Predators and was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also appeared in NHL games for the Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks.

Franson totaled 212 points in 550 career NHL games and also registered 175 points in 283 AHL games. The towering defenseman also won gold with Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championships. Franson had this to say about moving behind the bench:

Coaching is something I have wanted to do for a long time and I am excited to get started. I am looking forward to contributing to player development and working with Coach McLean

Photo credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports