It's not so much about what Franson is, it's more about how much does he improve the team. I don't watch as many Leafs games as you guys but from what I saw and read in his stats he is more or less on par with Kronwall regarding offense but worse defensively. In my opinion that makes him very good top 4 defender and a decent top 2. But we already have two, maybe three of that in Quincy, Ericsson and arguably DeKeyser.
Sure, they don't have the offensive upside of Franson but they make that more or less up with their better defensive play. So, would Franson have improved us ? Sure, we'd be a little bit more flexible and deeper on our blueline and increased our production a little bit. Would that be nice to have ? Of course. Would it worth the price of a top pick + prospect ? No. What we really need is a offensive top 2 D-Man to complement Kronwall on our first paring not another top 4 guy. Franson simply isn't that guy. And the price paid by the Preds is to high for just "nice to have", especially considering Franson is an UFA this summer. I'm glad Kenny stayed away from him and I hope he also doesn't trade for Petry for the same reasons stated here. The far better options are to get Yandle or to stay pat and try to sign Green this summer.